Cazuela de Conejo

cazuela de conejo

This is a typical Spanish Rabbit Casserole recipe, of which there are many – probably one for each autonomous region, if not each pueblo.

conejo

Rabbit itself is very much considered meat in Spain, unlike the UK where most people (these days) see it as a pet. It is said that the Carthaginians, arriving in Spain (around 300 BC), named the region Ispania (from Sphan meaning rabbit), land of rabbits, which later became Hispania under the Romans and España today.

cortado

Cazuela de Conejo recipe (feeds 3 – 4 people):

1 rabbit (jointed)
4 slices smoked streaky bacon (chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
6 pieces of garlic (finely chopped)
2 large carrots (chopped)
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 large tomato (grated)
25 button mushrooms
1 pint of game stock (chicken is a good substitute)
a glass of red wine
a splash of red wine vinegar
a dessertspoon of tomato purée
a squeeze of anchovy paste
a pinch of crushed chilli
a few sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
2 heaped dessertspoons of plain flour
1 teaspoon of rosemary, sage and thyme (a few sprigs of each), juniper berries, coarse sea salt and black peppercorns ground in a mortar and pestle
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil for frying

browning

Joint the rabbit and dust it in plain four and a teaspoonful of ground mixed herbs. Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a large cast iron casserole or Spanish terracotta cazuela (mine is sadly too big to fit in the oven) and brown the meat. Don’t overcrowd the pan, you can do this in a couple of batches. When the rabbit has taken a little colour, remove it to a plate.

bacon and onion

Using the same casserole, fry the onion until it goes translucent, then stir in the bacon and a pinch of crushed chilli. In Spain jamón is more often used then bacon, but they sell the offcuts cheap as tacos (small pieces or crumbs) in all the charcuterías (which they don’t do here).

zanahoria

When the bacon has browned a little, add the chopped carrots

pimiento rojo

and then the red pepper and garlic.

tomato

Cut the tomato in half and grate the flesh into the casserole – you should be left with two round pieces of skin, which you can discard.

setas

Stir in the button mushrooms, followed by the anchovy paste and the tomato purée along with any leftover seasoned four, to make a roux.

stock

Keep stirring while you mix in the red wine, red wine vinegar and game stock (chicken stock will do nicely as a substitute). Add a few sprigs of thyme and a couple of bay leaves to the liquid.

rabbit in stock

Return the bunny to the casserole, put the lid on and remove to a warm oven at about 150ºC for 90 minutes. Turn the rabbit pieces about half way through and taste the casserole after an hour and a half. Poke the rabbit with a fork to ensure it is tender, adjust the seasoning and return the dish to the oven, without a lid, for a final 30 minutes. Rabbit is less predictable than farmed meat, but I find that 2 hours of gentle cooking will normally soften it up nicely. Do look for smaller, younger rabbits to be on the safe side.

rabbit casserole

Serve the Cazuela de Conejo with potatoes and seasonal vegetables. A robust Spanish red, like Carta Roja Grand Reservada, will make a perfect accompaniment.

 

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About Mad Dog

https://maddogtvdinners.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in Fish, Food, Game, Meat, Recipes, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Cazuela de Conejo

  1. Eha says:

    Shall try this exactly as written down as soon as my May break is over: absolutely love rabbit if well cooked . . . . like the chilli and the anchovy . . . .

  2. James Davies says:

    What a great recipe – can’t wait to try this!

  3. Ron says:

    MD,this looks fantastic. We love rabbit and enjoy it often. The addition of the juniper and herbs, wow! I can smell it cooking on the stove. I see a bowl of Cazuela de Conejo, a glass (or two) Torres Gran Sangre de Toro (have a few bottles in the rack) and fresh bread setting on the table very soon.

  4. Conor Bofin says:

    Really excellent MD. It reads and looks pretty perfect.

  5. Hello ‘Mad Dog’- I saw your comment on Karen’s ‘Backroad’ blog and decided to click on your blog. I’m always interested in Spanish recipes- I spent some time cooking in Madrid and have posted some Spanish recipes. Rabbit is not one of my favorite meats, however I’m sure that your recipe of slow-cooking it with all those rich flavors will make it delicious!

  6. Beautiful, we love rabbit! Great recipe, all those amazing flavours. And now I can see the photos too as yesterday we finally got a very patient man to install our internet (5 hours trying to find a signal, he was a hero!). Un saludo

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