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Rabbit and Rice Fiesta Recipe

This recipe for Rabbit and Rice Fiesta Recipe has been reproduced courtesy of Orce Serrano Hams -

Orce Serrano Hams market a range of authentic Andalucian cured meats, in particular Serrano Hams, olive oils, vinegars and wines. The business is situated in the heart of the Andalucian countryside, which is the home of Serrano Hams, and ships direct from Spain. All of the products are locally produced with many being used in local restaurants and tapas bars where Serrano Ham is a great favourite. If you are looking for a taste of real Spain the Orce Serrano Hams can supply you with it!

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This Spanish recipe for rabbit and rice is very similar to traditional Valencian paella. Cooked slowly over a smoky outdoor barbeque the rice takes on a real rustic flavour, combined with the rabbit this really is a "campo" dish. This traditional recipe has been a favourite for generations usually made for fiesta time or when large families get together to enjoy a meal. Rabbit is the main ingredient but such is the versatility of this dish you can also involve cuts of liver, pork rib, pancetta or chicken pieces.

Story behind this recipe:

There is nothing quite like watching the experts at work, ten o'clock at night making a paella over the Spanish barbeque. The flavours of a paella over hot smoky coals cannot be compared to those cooked indoors, both are good but the outdoor version always has the edge - a rustic flavour . . .

We are fortunate enough to be invited to a fiesta or two every August where a big paella pan always has something interesting bubbling within. This time the recipe was simply "Conejo y arroz" (Rabbit and Rice) not strictly a paella but very similar to the Valencian paella, in fact you could find liver and pieces of pork rib among the fabulous bomba rice - cooked to perfection. Apparently it was a "receta de me Madre" a Catalan recipe that had been in the family for a couple of generations and obviously still enjoyed very much to this day.

Interestingly the cocinera (chef) had an unusual way of cooking this rather large dish (46 cm paella pan for twelve people). Normally to cook meats, kebabs, etc on a barbeque you need "brasa" (hot bed of coals) for this recipe and paellas though the heat is ideally distributed evenly under the paella pan using nothing but small sticks and pine cones. Careful attention was paid to the fire just as much as to the dish and the flames were tended to frequently, lots of fire but never too hot - a secret of cooking Spanish paella outdoors.

When the dish was ready it was quickly removed and covered with newspaper to rest for a few minutes then with a table set for twelve it was time to dig in!

Ingredients for Rabbit and Rice

2 rabbits, prepared and cut into small pieces
2 bulbs garlic, separated and the cloves peeled
1 ½ Kilos Bomba rice
3 litres water / chicken stock
2 red peppers (diced)
3 medium tomatoes (diced)
Cracked black peppercorns
Olive oil

How to make Rabbit and Rice

  • Prepare the vegetables by dicing into small pieces, dice or crush the garlic and fry together in the paella pan using a splash of good olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes on a high heat until the onions become translucent.
  • Turn down the heat then, using a ladle add the rice counting each ladleful as you go - one kilo of rice is roughly 7 ladles.
  • Stir the rice into the vegetables and continue to cook until the rice begins to lose its colour.
  • Then add your stock, ladle in as with the rice, counting as you go. You need two ladles of stock for every one of rice. 14 ladles should be sufficient.
  • Add a pinch of saffron.
  • At this point the paella does not need to be stirred any more. Lower the heat and add the cuttlefish/squid pieces, spread evenly over the paella.
  • Push the cuttlefish pieces down into the rice so that they are partially covered.
  • Arrange the prawns over the top of the paella.
  • At this stage cover the whole pan in tinfoil and leave the paella to cook for 10 minutes. (This method also cooks the prawns on top.)
  • Remove the foil and serve.

Paella tip:

When using prawns in your paella they can either be peeled or left whole. An impressive paella always usually has an artistic appearance dressed, in this case, with fresh seafood. Not everyone likes peeling prawns so leave half for presentation and pre peel the remaining half to mix in with the other seafood.

Serves 12

Rabbit and Rice Fiesta Recipe

Orce Serrano Hams

Published with permission of Orce Serrano Hams