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History Cookbook: Rabbit with Redcurrant Sauce

This recipe is in categories Tudors, Main courses
About this recipe
Healthiness : (155 votes)
Difficulty:  3 out of 5 difficulty
Comments: It is difficult to quarter the rabbit, it is best to ask the butcher to do this for you. Then the recipe is easier to manage.
Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Number of servings: 1 rabbit serves 2 people
Serving suggestions: Serve with seasonal vegetables and plain frumenty.

The original recipe has 3 dishes muddled together for old coney (rabbit), mallard and hare, all cooked with a fruit (sharp) sauce. So I have picked out the version we used:

"Take the coney, clean, wash and section him: put in pipkin with white wine, onions, water fine herbs with no bitter taste (egs given include lettuce, spinach, violet leaves), a quantity of currants and/or dates: cover it close and set it on gentle fire, and let it stew. To the broth put butter, sugar, cinnamon and redcurrants (gooseberries etc) as will give it a sharp taste, but in the winter as much wine vinegar*; then heat it on the fire and stir all well together. Lay the coney in a dish and pour all this broth upon it; and so serve it up."

* a substitute for when fruit is not available.

You can either stew the rabbit in the sauce or remove the rabbit pieces then finish the sauce and spoon it over. The last method keeps the rabbit meat pale as it can become a little purple looking when stewed with the sauce. The final sauce should have a slightly sweet and sour taste.

  • 1 rabbit, ask the butcher to quarter it for you if possible
  • 1 pint (600ml) of white wine and water (1/2 pint (300ml) of each) or just chicken stock
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1-2 handfuls of salad leaves or spinach (optional)
  • 2-3 oz (50-75g) currants
  • 1 oz (25g) butter
  • sugar and cinnamon to taste, roughly a generous pinch of each (you may need more sugar if the fruit is very sharp)
  • 3-4 oz (75-100g) sharp fruit (redcurrants, blackberries, gooseberries)
  • Measuring jug
  • Weighing scales
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Tablespoon
  • Pan
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Spoon
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Cut the rabbit into 4 pieces, if this has not been done for you
  2. Brown the rabbit in a heavy based, lightly greased pan
  3. Add the wine or stock, onions and parsley 
  4. Add any salad leaves or spinach if you are using them
  5. Gently stew, covered, for 15-20 minutes until the rabbit is done
  6. Method 1: add the butter, fruit, spices, sugar and currants. Cook with the rabbit for 5 minutes. Taste to check the seasoning and then serve
  7. Method 2: remove the rabbit from the pan and make the rest of the sauce by adding the butter, spices, sugar and fruit. Check the seasoning and spoon over the rabbit pieces and serve
Rabbit with Redcurrant Sauce - print view  Rabbit with Redcurrant Sauce - print view

If you tried this recipe and liked it, tell us about it
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Name: Bob 3rd October 2018
hell yeah! it was lovely. TRY IT.
Name: Ashleigh 8th September 2016
Commenting again 2 years later. To anyone who cannot bring themselves to eat a rabbit, replace the rabbit with chicken. I loved this with the rabbit, then we tried with chicken and it was fantastic. Making it for dinner again tonight. :)
Name: Peggy Sokoll 6th June 2016
What book os this recipe from?
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