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Catalan Braised Rabbit

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Lean, mildly flavored rabbit is delicious when slow-cooked in a Catalan cassola (or cazuela, in Spanish) with tomatoes, carrots, almonds, and garlic. Adding a piece of the rabbit’s liver is a traditional way of giving the dish deep, earthy tones.


  • 1 whole cleaned rabbit (about 2-1/2 lb.), cut into 12 pieces (ask your butcher to do this)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 rabbit liver (optional)
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, halved, seeded, and grated
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 to 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup lower-salt chicken broth or water; more as needed
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 10 to 12 toasted and skinned almonds or hazelnuts
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley; more for garnish (optional)
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 570
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 250
  • Fat (g): 28
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13
  • Cholesterol (mg): 175
  • Sodium (mg): 400
  • Carbohydrates (g): 13
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 60


  • Pat the rabbit dry with paper towels and generously season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a 12-1/2-inch cassola (on a heat diffuser if recommended by the manufacturer) over medium-high heat. Working in batches so as not to crowd the cassola, brown the rabbit pieces (and liver, if using) on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes per batch, adding more oil as needed. Transfer each batch to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small dish and set aside.
  • Add the onion to the cassola and cook, stirring frequently, until it becomes translucent, 3 to 4 minutes (add a bit more oil if it seems dry). Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat to low, and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently and then tapping down the mixture with the back of a wooden spoon until thickened and darker, 10 to 15 minutes, adding a little water as necessary to keep it from drying out and sticking.
  • Return the rabbit leg and thigh pieces to the cassola, turning to coat. Drizzle with the wine, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add the carrots, broth, and thyme. Increase the heat to medium high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add the remaining rabbit pieces and continue to cook until the rabbit is tender, about 30 minutes more, adding more broth if needed to keep the sauce moist.
  • Meanwhile, using a mortar and pestle, pound the liver (if using), garlic, almonds, and parsley into a fine paste. Loosen with 1 to 2 Tbs. water. (Alternatively, grind in a food processor using short pulses, adding water as needed.)
  • Stir the garlic mixture into the sauce until well blended, and continue to cook about for 10 more minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with parsley (if using), and serve from the cassola with the bread.


A cassola is a traditional Catalan shallow terra-cotta casserole dish. When shopping for one anywhere outside of Catalonia, you’ll most likely see it called by its Spanish name, cazuela.  Some manufacturers recommend using a heat diffuser to protect the cassola from direct flame and help the food cook more evenly. If you don’t have a cassola, you can use a 12-inch-wide heavy-duty Dutch oven or straight-sided skillet instead.


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • Penp29 | 10/13/2019

    Made this recipe today, superb, I had to adjust slightly as only had some light rose but it was delicious. Such a tasty recipe for rabbit. Look forward to trying more of your recipes if this is the result. Well done thank you

  • mFitz | 04/09/2016

    I've made this with chicken (using a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces) and it is outstanding. I love cooking with rabbit but over the past month, my source hasn't been stocking it; I'm looking forward to making it with rabbit. Until then, I plan on making it again with chicken this weekend. This dish, though simple in it's ingredients, is a true star. Thank you!

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