Rabbit with Walnut Sauce

A traditional rabbit recipe from the Peloponnese, taken from Greece: The Cookbook

Preparation time: 12 hrs (including marinating)
Cooking time: 1 1/4 hrs
Serves 4


1 rabbit, about 4 1/2 lb (2 kg), cut into serving pieces
1 cup (250 ml / 8 fl oz) red wine vinegar
1/2 cup (120 ml / 4 fl oz) olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup (120 ml / 4 fl oz) dry red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup (250 ml / 8 fl oz) tomato juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
10 allspice berries
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper
1/2 cup (120 ml / 4 fl oz) hot water
1 cup (120 g / 4 oz) coarsely chopped walnuts
mashed potatoes or rice pilaf, to serve


Put the meat into a bowl. Combine the vinegar with 1 cup (250 ml /8 fl oz) water in a pitcher (jug) and pour the mixture over the meat. Turn to coat, then cover, and let marinate in the refrigerator for 12 hours overnight.

Drain the meat, rinse in plenty of cold running water, and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the pieces of rabbit and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the onion, reduce the heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until softened. Pour in the wine and cook for 1–2 minutes, or until the alcohol has evaporated.

Combine the tomato paste and tomato juice in a bowl and add to the pan, together with the cinnamon, cloves, allspice berries, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, pour in the hot water, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the meat is almost tender (wild rabbit will take longer to cook than farmed rabbit).

Add the walnuts and simmer for 15 minutes more, until the sauce has thickened. Serve immediately with mashed potatoes or rice pilaf.


Greece: The Cookbook is the definitive work on the rich and fascinating cooking of modern Greece.

Greece: The Cookbook is the first truly comprehensive bible of Greek food in English. Rapidly increasing in popularity, Greek food is simple to prepare, healthy and delicious, and, more than most other cuisines, bears all the hallmarks of the rich cultural history of the land and sea from which it is drawn. It is the original Mediterranean cuisine, where olive oil, bread, wine, figs, grapes and cheese have been staples since the beginnings of Western civilization. With hundreds of simple recipes by Vefa Alexiadou, the authoritative grand dame of Greek cookery, the book also includes information on regional specialities, local ingredients and the religious and historical significance of the dishes, and is illustrated with 230 colour photographs. Greece: The Cookbook is the definitive work on the rich and fascinating cooking of modern Greece.