Rabbit cacciatore

  • medium
  • 4
  • 1 hour 20 minutes
Not yet rated

Rich and hearty, this 'hunter-style' Italian stew is often made with chicken, but Francesco Mazzei celebrates the wonderful taste of British game meat by choosing the subtle flavour of rabbit. Cooked with earthy wild mushrooms and salty pancetta, Francesco adds a little extra Italian flair with capers and juicy olives scattered over the top. Serve with a bowl of buttery mashed potato for a hearty supper, or have it the Italian way with a pile of crusty bread or pasta on the side.

First published in 2016







Preheat the oven to 195°C/gas mark 5½
Season the rabbit legs with salt and pepper and dust with the plain flour. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and colour the legs lightly on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside
Place a separate ovenproof pan or casserole dish over a medium heat and add the pancetta, carrot, onion, celery, garlic and rosemary. Fry together gently, allowing the vegetables to soften in the fat released from the pancetta. Add the mushrooms and wine to the pan and stir, cooking for 5 minutes until the liquid evaporates
In a separate jug, mix the tomato paste into the chicken stock until dissolved and combined. Pour the stock over the vegetables, adding the rabbit, dried chillies, capers and olives to the pan. Put the lid on the dish and transfer to the preheated oven, cooking for 45–50 minutes until the rabbit is cooked through
To serve, place the dish in the centre of the table and serve hot, garnished with a few sprigs of fresh chervil
First published in 2016

Francesco Mazzei reminds us why we fell in love with Italian food in the first place, conjuring soulful dishes that put flavour first.

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