Sunday, October 21, 2012


Rabbit cooks in a wine marinade.

Awakened at dawn by the pop of a shotgun on the hillside, I realized that hunting season has opened. The local take is small feathered and furred game, primarily partridge and rabbit.

I don’t hunt, but, as I enjoy eating game, I don’t disapprove of those who do. In fact, I’d gladly invite a hunter to dinner if he (they are mainly guys) would take out the wild boar that is digging up my garden. I’ve got just the marinade---.

While they’re not the same as wild, farm-raised rabbit and even partridge are much easier to come by and don’t require a gun. Inspired by a TV cooking program ("Cómetelo" on Canal Sur, with chef Enrique Sánchez), I bought rabbit to make conejo al salmorejo, rabbit cooked in a wine marinade. If you understand Spanish and would like to watch the show, it is here )

This is different from the salmorejo I wrote about here, which is a thick “gazpacho cream,” and here, which is a salad with oranges, onions and salt cod. They all have as a root, sal, or salt. Beyond that, they are completely different preparations.

This salmorejo, or marinade, is much like an adobo (that recipe is  here). Meant to tame the gaminess of wild rabbit or hare, it also serves to punch up the flavor of mild-flavored farm-raised rabbit.

Whole rabbit, cut into serving pieces.
Farm-raised rabbit, by the way, deserves to be called “the other white meat.” It’s lean and low in saturated fat.

Andalusian style, this dish would be served with patatas fritas, fries (Spanish fries, of course, fried in olive oil). But it is very nice with wide noodles or rice to soak up the tasty sauce.

Tender rabbit, braised in herb-inflected marinade. 

Rabbit in Wine Marinade
Conejo al Salmorejo

Serves 3 or 4.

1 farm-raised rabbit, about 2 ¼ pounds
Salt and pepper
Sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon pimentón (paprika)
¾ cup white wine
¼ cup Sherry vinegar
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup water
1 rabbit liver or chicken liver
1 tablespoon flour

Cut the rabbit into 6 serving pieces. Reserve the liver, if included. Sprinkle the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper. Place the pieces of rabbit in a bowl (glass, plastic or earthenware) with the thyme and bay leaves.

In a blender combine the garlic, oregano, cumin, pimentón, wine, vinegar, olive oil and ¼ cup of the water. Blend until smooth. Pour this marinade over the rabbit. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Drain the rabbit in a colander set over a bowl to catch the marinade. Discard the bay leaves and thyme.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a cazuela or deep skillet. Cut the liver into four pieces and brown them in the oil. Remove and set aside.

Sprinkle the rabbit with the flour. Add the rabbit to the cazuela and brown the pieces on all sides. Pour over the strained marinade. Cover and simmer until rabbit is very tender, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend the liver with the remaining ¼ cup water until smooth. Stir this into the rabbit and cook 5 minutes longer to thicken the sauce.


  1. Love this combination of flavors. What kind of pimenton are you using here?

  2. Donna: Ordinary sweet pimentón (paprika), not smoked. Could use a smidgin of smoked pimentón or a pinch of hot pimentón.

  3. Hello Janet,
    Thanks for the Rabbit in Wine Marinade recipe.
    I'll create one for sure, my kids are gonna like it :)
    If you don't mind, can you submit your Rabbit in Wine Marinade photo in ?
    It's a food photography site full of all DIY food pictures from members around the world. Or perhaps you'd like to submit by yourself? Let me know when you did, so I can share it.