Rabbit Wrapped in Serrano Ham

Paul Heathcote makes a stunning dinner party dish with both slow-cooked rabbit leg and pan-fried loin with a rich red wine sauce
By Paul Heathcote
Rabbit Wrapped in Serrano Ham
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • olive oil
  • 4 rabbit legs
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and kept whole
  • sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 200 ml Rioja red wine
  • 1 litres chicken stock
  • 2 rabbit saddles
  • 8 slices Serrano ham
  • 4 sage leaves, shredded
  • 12 soft prunes
  • 100 g spinach, wilted
  • handfuls pine kernels, toasted
  • handfuls parsley, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3.

2. Heat a slug of olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole and brown the rabbit legs on all sides. Add the vegetables, herbs and peppercorns and fry until the vegetables get a little colour.

3. Pour in the wine followed by the stock. Bring to the boil and cover with the lid. Braise in the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes, until tender.

4. Remove the legs from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Sieve the remaining liquid into another pan. Skim of any fat then reduce over a high heat to sauce consistency.

5. Fillet the loins from the saddle and remove any tough silver skin. Season with pepper, and sit on top of the slices of Serrano ham. Sprinkle with the shredded sage and wrap the ham tightly around the meat. Make sure there are no gaps.

6. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and add the rabbit parcels. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Leave to rest for a couple of minutes.

7. Add the prunes to sauce and reheat. Slice the loin and serve on a bed of spinach. Serve the leg to one side, spoon over the prunes and some sauce and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley to serve.

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