Yorkshire's Independent Restaurant Guide

Rick Stein’s Toledo Rabbit with Spices

Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, this recipe is a gentle braise of rabbit, shallots and carrots with a beautifully judged mix of spices, herbs, honey and wine. My adapted version using chicken tasted heavenly, with gently caramelised shallot, soft chicken and a sauce of deep, warm earthy flavours. Go try it. Read the review here.


1.5kg rabbit, jointed, or chicken

350g small shallots, 250 g peeled and left whole, the rest chopped finely

3 cloves garlic finely chopped

½ tsp cumin seeds

1/2tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground ginger

4 cloves

2 x 5cm length cinnamon stick

½ tsp pimenton dulce (sweet smoked Spanish paprika)

175 g carrots sliced

250ml white wine

1 tblsp honey

4 soft thyme sprigs

leaves from two 10cm rosemary sprigs

500 ml chicken stock

50 g raisins

11/2 tbsp sherry vinegar

25 g toasted pine nuts


Season your rabbit well and gently saute in olive oil for about 8 mins until lightly browned. Lift onto a plate and set aside. Lower the heat (I added a little more oil) and add the whole shallots, shaking them until they too are nicely browned. Lift from the pan and set aside with the rabbit.

Add the chopped shallot, the garlic and all the spices to the pan and cook very gently for 5 mins, taking care not to burn, add the carrots and cook for a further 2 mins.

Stir in the wine, scraping all the bits from the base of the pan, then return the rabbit and shallots, add the honey, herbs and stock and simmer gently for 45 mins with a lid on, turning the joints half way. (As I was using chicken breasts, this took about15 mins)

Uncover the rabbit, add the raisins and the sherry vinegar, increase the heat slightly and simmer until the rabbit is completely soft and the sauce has reduced.

Adjust the seasoning, sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts and serve.

If you are lucky enough to have a butcher who provides your rabbit with the liver and kidneys, Rick suggests adding them five mins before the end of cooking.

To drink: We perversely, drank  a Sicilian Nero D’Avola, but you could drink it with a white  Albarino from north west Spain which you can find in supermarkets, expect to pay about £7 a bottle or a fruity Spanish red – the Tesco Finest Garnacha or Temperanillo mentioned before in Squidbeak, would do well here.