Grilled and Marinated Rabbit
Editor's Note: Here is a completely different type of main dish that will wow your guests at your next upscale dinner party. Grilled and Marinated Rabbit can be an exciting choice for your main course. Most of your guests probably never have tried it before. You either barbecue your rabbit to give it tremendous flavor, or you can also have a positive outcome by roasting the rabbit in the oven at 400 degrees F. When cooking in the oven make sure you turn the pieces of rabbit numerous times to even out how done it becomes on each side and the color of it. Metal or wooden skewers will be necessary to cook on the barbecue.
I’ve written this recipe to be cooked on the barbecue, because the flavour will be amazing, but it also works really well when roasted in the oven at 200°C/400°F/gas 6. If you cook it in the oven, turn the pieces of rabbit several times to ensure even colour and cooking. If you cook it on the barbecue, you’ll need five wooden or metal skewers (soak wooden ones before you use them). Whether barbecuing or roasting, see the picture for your rough timings.
Cooking MethodBaking, Grilling
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Recipe CourseMain Course
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Low Carb, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free
EquipmentGrill, Mortar And Pestle
Taste and TextureGarlicky, Herby, Meaty, Savory, Spiced, Sweet, Tart
Type of DishSkewer
- 1 x 1.2kg/2 ½ lb rabbit, preferably wild, jointed (cut into serving pieces)
- A handful of fresh thyme and rosemary, leaves picked
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- Olive oil
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 4 thick slices of pancetta
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put your rabbit pieces into a bowl. Using a pestle and mortar, or a liquidizer, bash or whiz up the thyme and rosemary leaves to a pulp, then add the garlic cloves and bash or whiz again.
Stir in 8 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon zest and juice and the honey, and pour this over the rabbit. Put the meat to one side and let it come to room temperature while you light your barbecue.
Now I’m going to talk about flavour. Get a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme and tie them together like a little brush. Each time you turn the meat, dab it with a little of the marinade to give you a lovely encrusted layer of flavour. This rabbit is going to be really tasty!
Keeping the marinade to one side, remove the pieces of meat and season with salt and pepper. Sandwich 2 slices of pancetta between the 2 pieces of belly using 3 skewers. Put the legs and shoulder on the barbecue. When they’ve been cooking for 10 minutes, put the belly on. After another 10 minutes put the saddle and ribs on. Make sure you turn the meat over every so often. Look after it by controlling the temperature and basting it continuously with the marinade. Cut three-quarters of the way through each kidney and open them out like a book. Cut the liver into 4 pieces and push one piece on to each remaining skewer, followed by a kidney and more liver.
When all the pieces of meat are beautifully cooked, add your skewered bits of kidney and liver on to the barbecue and cook until golden, along with your 2 remaining slices of pancetta. After a few minutes, when the pancetta is browned, put it on top of the meat at the cooler end of the barbie. Now get your guests round the table.
You can serve the rabbit with any white beans, or roast potatoes, or grilled vegetables, or different salads – it really depends on how you feel and what the weather’s like. Just put a big bowl of your chosen accompaniment in the middle of the table and serve all the meat on a board. Lovely with a glass of white wine. Simple, honest and bloody good.
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2006 Jamie Oliver