Rabbit and cider casserole

Tom Parker Bowles transforms inexpensive rabbit into a simple, rustic casserole
By Tom Parker Bowles
Rabbit and cider casserole
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 tbsp plain flour, plus 40g extra
  • 2 rabbits, jointed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 knob butter
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 400 ml dry cider
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 1 small handful chopped curly parsley
  • steamed cabbage and mashed potato, to serve

Tips and Suggestions

Ask your butcher to joint the rabbit for you.


1. Season 2 tablespoons flour generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then roll the rabbit pieces in it, shaking off any excess.

2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based casserole over a medium-high heat and fry the rabbit for about 5 minutes, turning once or twice, until golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

3. Add the butter to the pan, then tip in the onions. Reduce the heat to medium and fry the onions for about 10 minutes, until softened and golden brown.

4. Stir in 40 grams plain flour then add the bay leaf and thyme. Gradually pour in the cider and chicken stock, stirring continuously. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil, stirring.

5. Add the rabbit to the casserole, cover, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and almost falling off the bone. Alternatively, transfer the casserole to a preheated oven set to 160C/140C fan/gas 2 for 2 hours.

6. Using a slotted spoon, remove the rabbit from the casserole and set aside on a warm plate. Pour the cream into the sauce still in the pan and simmer gently for a few minutes, until slightly thicker.

7. Return the rabbit to the casserole, along with any juices, then stir in the parsley and adjust the seasoning. Serve with cabbage and creamy mash on the side, if you like.

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