Rabbit hotpot with white beans and Spanish sausage

Rabbit hotpot with white beans and Spanish sausage

New Middle Eastern Food
Mark Roper

This rabbit hotpot is rich and smoky, similar to a French cassoulet. It needs only a big green salad and maybe a bowl of Goat’s cheese mashed potatoes to make the perfect meal on a cold winter’s evening.


Quantity Ingredient
100g white beans, soaked overnight in 2–3 times their volume of cold water
1kg rabbit hind legs, cut in half
or rabbit pieces
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
60ml olive oil
1 tablespoon honey, diluted with 1 tablespoon hot water
10 shallots
120g small button mushrooms, stalks trimmed flush
6 garlic cloves
200g semi-dried chorizo sausage, cut into 1 cm discs
100ml white wine
2 large ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
12 fresh sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon juniper berries, lightly cracked
1/2 orange, zested
500ml good-quality chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper

Breadcrumb topping

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon ground sumac
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, roasted and crushed
1/2 lemon, zested
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
6 kalamata olives, stoned and finely chopped


  1. Cook the beans in boiling water. until they are just tender, then drain and reserve. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Pat the rabbit legs dry and lightly season with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof casserole dish, sauté the rabbit pieces in olive oil until they colour. Towards the end of the cooking time, turn up the heat and pour in the honey glaze. Sauté for a further 30 seconds until the mixture gently caramelises, turning the rabbit pieces so that they are coated with the glaze. Add the whole shallots, mushrooms, garlic and chorizo pieces and sauté for 2 minutes, turning everything in the glaze. Add the white wine and stir to lift all the golden bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the beans, chopped tomatoes, sage leaves, juniper berries, orange zest and chicken stock. Season with pepper.
  3. Bring to the boil, then cover the surface of the casserole with a circle of baking paper and cover the dish with a lid. Cook on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and check that the rabbit is tender and the meat is beginning to fall from the bones. Return to the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  4. We usually serve this dish with a breadcrumb coating (not photographed). To prepare the breadcrumb topping, combine the sumac, fennel seeds and lemon zest with the breadcrumbs and chopped olives and set aside.
  5. Preheat the griller to its highest temperature. Remove the baking paper and sprinkle the surface with the crumbing mix. Grill until golden brown and serve immediately.
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