Matthew Evans provides the rabbits for this traditional Greek recipe, wherein the meat is browned then slow-cooked with onion, garlic and spices, resulting in a richly flavoured stew.
- 2 whole rabbits, gutted, dressed
- 1 cup olive oil
- knob of butter
- fresh oregano
- salt and pepper
- flour, optional
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 8 small brown onions, peeled, halved
- ½ tsp orange zest
- 4–5 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ground cumin, optional
- 4 baby bay leaves
- 1 small can tomato paste
- ⅔ bottle red wine
- ground cinnamon
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chop each rabbit into 6 large pieces.
Heat the olive oil in deep-sided, heavy-based pot. Add the butter and oregano. Season well with salt and pepper.
Add the rabbit pieces and brown all over. (Dust the rabbit with flour before browning, if desired.) Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the rabbit when brown.
Add the onion to the pot and fry, stirring occasionally, in the pan juices. Add the orange zest, cloves and cinnamon sticks (plus a bit of cumin too if you want). Add the baby bay leaves and stir. Add the tomato paste and red wine. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Return the rabbit to the pan, and sprinkle over the ground cinnamon. Cover the rabbit with water. Cover and bake in oven for about 2 hours at 160°C.
Drink remaining red wine, sing opera, and serve at leisure with bread and more red!