Roast Rabbit Leg Stuffed with Celeriac

The rich, gamey flavours of rabbit come through perfectly with Jun Tanakas suggestion of adding smokey bacon and cabbage pesto
By Jun Tanaka
Roast Rabbit Leg Stuffed with Celeriac
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: medium


For the marinade

  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

For the cabbage pesto

  • 1 cabbage, leaves only
  • 100 ml hot chicken stock
  • 1/2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp pine kernels, toasted
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan

For the stuffed rabbit legs

  • 1 Savoy cabbage, dark green leaves removed, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 60 g smoked bacon, cut into 5mm cubes
  • 2 knobs butter
  • 1 carrot, cut into 5mm cubes
  • 1 quarter celeriac, cut into 5mm cubes
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 4 rabbit legs, thigh bone removed


1. For the marinade: in a bowl, mix together all the ingredients.

2. For the cabbage pesto: blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling chicken stock for about 4 minutes, or until the cabbage is very soft. Drain, then plunge the leaves into a large bowl of iced water. Squeeze out the excess water.

3. Put the leaves into a food processor with the rest of the pesto ingredients and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. For the stuffed rabbit leg: preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

5. Blanch the cabbage in boiling salted water for 1 minute, then drain and plunge into iced water to refresh. Squeeze out any excess water and set aside.

6. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and fry the bacon for 1 minute, then stir in a knob of butter, carrot, and celeriac and lightly fry for another 3-4 minutes. Add the cabbage and mix through, cooking for 1 minute before adding the crème fraîche. Pile the mixture onto a plate to cool.

7. Once the cabbage mixture has cooled, spoon into the rabbit legs and sew the open end closed with a large needle and string. Season with salt and pepper.

8. Heat an ovenproof frying pan with the rest of the olive oil and add the rabbit. Cook for 1 minute to brown one side, then flip over and add a knob of butter. Transfer to the oven to cook for 5-6 minutes.

9. Take the rabbit out of the oven and brush with the marinade. Put back into the oven and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the rabbit is cooked but still slightly pink.

10. Remove the rabbit from the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes. Cut away the string and slice the legs in half.

11. To serve, place the legs on a plate and spoon the pesto around the side.

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