Rabbit with Anchovies and Capers

submerged rabbit

I found an interesting rabbit, anchovy and caper recipe attributed to Jennifer Paterson which seems to contain elements of contrasting origins. The first part, is somewhat like an uncooked jugged hare marinade and the final part with the anchovies and capers reminds me of a Catalan picada. I can find nothing else like it and therefore assume it unique. I have made a couple of small changes, but nothing much, since everything I’ve cooked previously, by either of the sadly missed, Two Fat Ladies, has been fantastic.

jointed rabbit

Rabbit marinade:

1 wild rabbit (jointed)
1 large onion (chopped)
6 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 large carrot (chopped)
1 stick celery (chopped)
1 pint dry white wine
4 dessertspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon (the juice)
2 bay leaves
leaves from 2 sprigs rosemary, 10 black peppercorns, 6 juniper berries (ground with a mortar and pestle)
a dessertspoon chopped parsley

vegetable marinade

Mix up the vegetables and liquids for the marinade.


Joint the rabbit and submerge it in the liquid for at least 24 hours in the fridge.

browning rabbit

Cooking the rabbit (serves 4):

the rabbit and marinade
a good splash of extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of ground chilli
3 dessertspoons seasoned plain flour
1/4 pint game stock (chicken will suffice)

Wipe the rabbit pieces dry and dust them with plain flour, seasoned with a little sea salt and cracked black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron casserole and brown the meat with a pinch of ground chilli – remove to a plate when done.


Pour the marinade into the cast iron casserole along with the stock.


Bring the liquid to a simmer.

sunken rabbit

Return the rabbit to the pot, put the lid on and cook in a preheated oven at 170ºC for about an hour. Pierce the rabbit with a sharp knife to check that it is tender. Don’t be tempted to add salt until the end – both the anchovies and capers contain significant amounts of sodium chloride.

casseroled rabbit

When the rabbit is ready, remove about 1/4 pint of the liquid to a small saucepan.

Anchovy and Caper Picada:

1/4 pint rabbit cooking liquid
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
a small tin of anchovies (drained and finely chopped)
a jar of non-pareil capers (about 60g, drained and finely chopped)

anchovies and capers

Strictly speaking, this isn’t a genuine picada, because it doesn’t contain nuts or dry bread, but it functions very much like one, in that it thickens the sauce while adding a huge flavour boost.


Chop up the garlic, anchovies and capers. Warm the rabbit sauce in the saucepan and stir in the solid ingredients. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

rabbit anchovies and capers

Stir the picada back into the rabbit casserole before serving. Check the seasoning, but I doubt you’ll need any salt.

rabbit blood

Optionally, if your rabbit comes with blood (and the thought of it doesn’t make you squeamish), save it (refrigerated) in a bowl with a little red or white wine vinegar – this stops it coagulating. Stir the rabbit blood into the sauce for additional thickening just before serving. It is the traditional thing to do with coq au vin, hare and rabbit dishes.

This is quite possibly the very best rabbit recipe I’ve ever eaten!  Serve with mashed potatoes and a glass of Nauta Catalunya, a white Xarel-lo.

Other Rabbit posts

About Mad Dog

This entry was posted in Drink, Fish, Food, Game, Meat, Recipes, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Rabbit with Anchovies and Capers

  1. Eha says:

    Have to smile: the picada makes this your dish, and . . . yes, I want to try it ! I cannot believe twenty years have passed since the joy of cooking with ‘The Two Fat Ladies’ . . . I so loved and put other tasks aside to watch the programmes . . . As I can get pretty good rabbits from thy butcher the latter methinks will receive a Monday morning phone call 🙂 ! Nope, sadly shall not even try and get the bunny blood tho’ nought about it would make me squeamish . . . here we go !!!

  2. Michelle says:

    The Fat Ladies are sadly missed. And that sounds delicious!

  3. Karen says:

    This does indeed sound like a very flavorful way to prepare rabbit.

  4. Ron says:

    Mad, this sounds wonderful with or without the blood addition. We’ll start getting fresh rabbits in a few weeks and this will be made. I love the juniper berry addition.
    You know,I’ve not thought of the fine crazy cooking duo in some time, so thanks for bringing them to mind. The Two Fat Ladies were adored in our house and I’m now inspired to find some of their old episodes to enjoy.

  5. Ron says:

    Thanks for the link Mad Dog. We’ll be viewing them soon.

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