Braised Rabbit with red wine, prunes and thyme

 I’m sure you know that Easter is on the way (Catholic falls on April 5 and Orthodox April 12), and you’re probably planning what to cook, or searching your notes with traditional recipes. I think some of you have a special main course recipe for this occasion, or may be it’s a wide range of recipes. What will you choose this year? An elegant dish or simple&casual? I think, with spring bringing nice and pretty weather, that you’re likely to be in the mood for something hearty and light! 🙂Braised Rabbit I’ve always been partial to rabbit; when I’m visiting my parents in Russia I’m always pleased to eat a rabbit stewed in sour cream. It’s always tender and delicious, of course because it’s prepared by my mom. 😀 Today recipe is elegant and great for a special dinner! I’d like you to try rabbit with prunes and thyme, braised in red wine. It requires few ingredients to be transformed into a flavoursome meal! Enjoy!Braised Rabbit with prunes, juniper berries and thyme

Braised Rabbit with red wine, prunes and thyme

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print
1 rabbit, 1.3-1.5kg
1-2 tsp apple or wine vinegar, optional
2 tbsp olive oil
20g butter
1-2 garlic clove, peeled, chopped
5-6 shallots or 1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 black peppercorns, optional
4-5 juniper berries
12-15 prunes, pitted
4 springs thyme or 1 tsp dried
150ml dry red wine
100ml or more hot water, if needed
sea salt and white pepper to taste
boiled or roasted potatoes
sour cream
Preparation method
  1. Joint the rabbit, wash it and put in a large bowl, fully cover the meat with water, add vinegar if using, then cover with a wrap and leave to marinate for 1-3 hours. It helps to make rabbit meat more tender and get rid of any unpleasant smell.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-bottom pan on a medium-high heat.  Add the rabbit pieces and brown each side for 6-8 minutes or until golden colour. Take out the rabbit pieces and place aside. Don’t clean the pan.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, add onions, garlic, peppercorns (if using), juniper berries, bay leaf, some thyme leaves and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until onion have softened. Add rabbit, pour over wine and scrape up the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Fold in prunes and remaining thyme. Season to taste. The liquid should come half way up the rabbit pieces. So, add some water, if needed. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid (keep a small slit) and braise the rabbit for 45 minutes. Now turn the rabbit pieces on the other side, adjust the seasoning, again cover the pan with a lid and braise for further 40-45 minutes. The rabbit should be easily pulling off the bone.
  5. Serve with sliced boiled/roasted potatoes, or rice. Add a tablespoon of sour creme, if desired.


  1. amygeorgie says:

    I have not yet been brave enough to try rabbit, but this is just so tempting!! Amazing post….thanks!
    I think you may like my new food site….
    (I’ve only just started, so won’t have many posts, but great bloggers like you have inspired me and I cant wait to get going!)

    • milkandbun says:

      Thanks for stopped by! You may subscribe to my blog as well by clicking “follow”. 🙂 And it’s not very difficult to cook rabbit, you need to start! You can also substitute it with chicken; chicken and prunes are great together too! 🙂

  2. Darya says:

    Oh this looks delicious! Here in Northern France, we make a dish of rabbit stew with pruned and beer sauce, but I love the idea of red wine. I bet it tasted fantastic!

    • milkandbun says:

      It can be cooked with white wine as well. That beer sauce sounds tempting, could you send me a recipe please ? 🙂 [by email or you can write it here] Thanks, Darya!

  3. Francesca says:

    What a great looking dish, Mila! We love rabbit but it’s very difficult to find it in our local stores. Next time, I’m sure going with your recipe! Thank you!

  4. ladyredspecs says:

    Rabbit was the food of the poor when I was a child. Wild rabbits were in plague numbers and even the most unskilled hunter could bring home a bagful. I haven’t eaten rabbit for years, you’ve inspired me to change that! Thanks

    • milkandbun says:

      Hi Daniel! Cooking rabbit in a low heat over a long period of time is one of the safest ideas for a perfect result. 🙂 You can also sear the meat before covering it in a wine, water or stock – for richness.
      You can also immerse the meat into water with/without vinegar (as I did) or even into wine, it helps also to get rid of meat’s smell if there was any. Hope it will help you. 🙂

  5. Julie says:

    Wow this recipe looks so good. I had rabbit once in a restaurant but I never tried cooking with it. I bet that dish tastes delicious!
    Thanks so much for your visit to my blog today Julie’s Lifestyle and leaving me those nice comments on my Easy Baked Chicken recipe that I shared and guested blogged at Sarah’s Kitchen!
    Julie’s Lifestyle

    • milkandbun says:

      Thank you for visiting, too, Julie! As you can see at the recipe steps – it’s not very complicated to make ‘posh’ dish at your home, and may be even tastier than in a restaurant! 😀

  6. Rabbit meat always reminds me of rabbit hunting field trips we went on when I was attending elementary school in Japan. We had rabbit stew at the end of the event. What you have done with it here is exquisite! Mila, you do have an exquisite blog!

  7. Pingback: Top 10 Recipes of 2015 | milkandbun

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