Maltese rabbit stew – stuffat tal-fenek

Posted on: June 17th, 2009 by admin No Comments

There’s a pretty sweet program on SBS in Australia these days, called Food safari. It’s good because it goes around the world looking at the flavors and key ingredients used in different countries. Not exactly a new idea, but fascinating none the less. The best thing is the posted recipes and information on the SBS website. This weeks recipe is from that website and before that, from Malta. Maltese cuisine is peasant cuisine, using what eatpress likes the most- vegetables in season, home-made cheeses and some of the cheaper cuts of meat.


Fortunately here in Montreal we just discovered a brilliant Portugese butcher around the corner, so access to organic game meats is pretty easy and rabbit is quite popular. This stew takes a little while to make, but it’s well worth the effort.

Stuffat Tal-Fenek – Rabbit Stew

  • 1.5 – 2kg rabbit
  • 350ml red wine
  • 6 bay leaves (fresh if possible)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 litres tomato purée
  • 1 cup water
  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Peeled potatoes, cubed

To make the marinade combine the red wine, 3 bay leaves and the whole cloves of garlic in a large bowl.

Remove rabbit kidneys and liver and chop rabbit into 12 pieces. Remove front and back legs, cutting each in half and cut saddle into 5 pieces. Place rabbit pieces, kidneys and liver into marinade and refrigerate overnight, turning several times.

Strain rabbit, reserving liquid and discarding garlic and bay leaves.

Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF).

Heat oil in a heavy based over medium heat and gently brown meat on all sides, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook until well sealed and golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Fry the onions and garlic just a little, then add tomato paste, reserved red wine (from marinade) and cook for a minute. Add tomato purée and water and mix well. Now return the rabbit to the pan, add bay leaves and potatoes.

Cover with lid and bake for 2 ½ – 3 hours.

Maltese families like to use the rich tomato sauce with pasta as a first course and serve the rabbit with vegetables as a main.

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