12 hour rabbit bolognese

Jamie says: "This is a wonderful evolution of that humble meat sauce we all love. You can create around fourteen incredible-tasting portions of bolognese out of one little rabbit, so its beyond cheap to make."
By Jamie Oliver
12 hour rabbit bolognese
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 14
  • Cook Time: 12.333333333333334 hours 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • olive oil
  • 3 rashers of quality smoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 whole rabbit, skinned (ask your butcher to do this for you), including offal
  • 1 bulb of garlic, left whole, white skin peeled away
  • 2 leeks, washed, topped and tailed
  • 2 sticks of celery, washed and trimmed
  • 2 red onions, skin on, washed
  • 20 g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 500 ml can of light smooth beer
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • sea salt and ground pepper
  • 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
  • ½ lemons
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme

optional serving method (serves 6)

  • 1 x 500 g packet of dried pasta, of your liking
  • parmesan or cheddar cheese, for grating
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme

Tips and Suggestions

Jamie says: "You can knock it together in around three minutes flat, then just allow the oven to turn it into a heavenly and delicious bolognese. Once it comes out of the oven youve got a rustic sauce that you can portion up and freeze for all sorts of beautiful meals in the days and weeks to come. If you arent a lover of rabbit meat, I urge you to try this. Its cheap, its tasty, and its easy ... Are you convinced yet?"


1. Preheat the oven to 110C/225F/gas ¼. Put your largest casserole-type pan on a medium heat and add a lug of olive oil and the chopped bacon. Once its lightly golden, add the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs and lay the whole rabbit and the offal on top. Drop in the whole garlic bulb, leeks, carrots, celery and onions, then add the dried mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, beer, tomato purée, and just enough water to cover everything (roughly 1 litre).

2. Bring to the boil, and season generously with loads of black pepper and a few pinches of salt. Finely grate in half the nutmeg, put the lid on, then pop the casserole into the oven and leave to cook for 12 hours.

3. Once cooked, let the stew cool down a little, then get yourself a big pair of clean Marigold gloves and another large pan. This is where you make it a pleasure to eat, so pick through small handfuls of stew at a time, taking out any bones or vegetable skins. Discard the herbs, and flake the beautiful meat off the bones and into the clean pan. Scrunch the vegetables and offal in your hands as you go and break them into smaller pieces. Pour any juices left behind into the new pan, then go back in and have another rummage to make sure you havent missed anything. Have a taste and correct the seasoning. Finely grate in the zest of half the lemon and pick in a few thyme tips to brighten up the sauce. Divvy the sauce up between sandwich bags and either freeze them, or keep in the fridge.

4. When you want to make your rabbit bolognese, simply reheat a small ladle of sauce per person in a pan over a medium heat and cook around 80 grams of pasta per person. Spaghetti and penne are favourites of mine for this. Boil according to packet instructions in salted water, then drain, reserving some of the starchy cooking water. Toss with your sauce and a little splash of the cooking water to make it silky then add a nice handful of cheese. Taste and check the seasoning then serve immediately with another good sprinkling of cheese, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some fresh thyme tips.

Recipe taken from Jamie's Great Britain by Jamie Oliver ©(2011) Jamie Oliver Enterprises. Photographer: David Loftus

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