Navarra-style Rabbit with Almonds

Game lovers will appreciate Ross Burden's Spanish recipe for rabbit cooked in a rich cinnamon-flavoured wine sauce thickened with almonds
By Ross Burden
Navarra-style Rabbit with Almonds
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 1 rabbit, including liver, weighing 1.5-2kg
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 20 whole blanched almonds
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 8 peppercorns
  • small handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp strands saffron
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 500-750ml robust red wine
  • 2 fresh bay leaves


1. Cut up the rabbit into eight pieces: hindlegs divided at knee joint, forelegs, and saddle cut crossways into two pieces.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy-based sauté pan, large enough to take the rabbit pieces in a single layer. Add the onion, almonds and garlic and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft. Add the rabbit liver and cook until firm.

3. Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender or food processor along with the cinnamon, peppercorns, parsley, thyme, saffron and salt. Add 8 tablespoons of the wine, then purée to form the picada, or thickening sauce. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.

4. Fry the rabbit pieces in the remaining oil until browned.

5. Stir in the picada, bay leaves and enough wine to just cover. Bring to the boil, then simmer very gently for 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of pieces) until the rabbit is tender. Discard the bay leaves before serving.

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