Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Rabbit Burger Recipe

Rabbit burger topped with pancetta

For the benefit of my foreign friends, let me start by saying: Yes, we do eat rabbit in Malta. No! It is not a cheap substitute for chicken! No! It's not like eating "Bambi" at all! (Bambi tastes more gamey :p ).

Raw peeled beetroot

Now that I've taken that load of my chest,  let me state that I did not always love to eat rabbit myself. Maybe because when I was young, the rabbits themselves were too old and therefore the meat was tough. Maybe it was the cooking method. I did love my father's rabbit stew though.

Sliced mushrooms & courgettes... later dipped in tempura batter and deep fried

And the garlic fried liver! I have quite clear memories of Sunday mornings, when I was woken up at 6:00 by the smell of garlic and liver wafting through the house. Running to the kitchen I would find three plates, one for each of us kids, laid out with the rabbit liver equally divided between them and a slice of freshly baked maltese bread on each.

Shaped rabbit burger

My dad would then proceed to fry the rabbit in garlic and then stew it. Being an impatient man, he probably never let the stew simmer for long enough (therefore the tough meat). Still the resultant stew was delicious and I keep striving to make my stews taste the same, knowing it will never happen since my dad always threw in random amount of all herbs and spices he had at hand!

Rabbit burgers on the grill

These days, I buy rabbits which are still young, from a trusted supplier and altough rabbit stews start to smell good a short while after they are left to simmer, I usually manage to restrain myself until the rabbit starts falling off the bone.

Beetroot Aioli

The recipe here is not for my dad's rabbit stew. I am not ready to share it yet, because it's still not perfect. One day... maybe soon. Instead I am sharing one of my favourite recipes for a moist and tender Rabbit mince burger. Serve with sweet potato wedges and tempura mushrooms & courgettes. Recipe after the jump

Rabbit Burger with Beetroot Aioli

Rabbit Burger


  • 4 burger buns (preferably wholemeal)
  • 500g Rabbit mince
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g bread crumbs
  • Fennel seeds
  • 1 medium onion
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 5 thin slices pancetta
  • 1 beef tomato
  • Pea shoots or other salad leaves
  • Beetroot Aioli (recipe below)


  1. Chop the onion finely and combine with rabbit mince, eggs and fennel seeds in a bowl.
  2. Slowly add breadcrumbs until mixture feels dry.
  3. Divide mixture into 5 eaqual patties.
  4. Heat a grill pan and cook patties for approximately 15 mins on each side, until cooked through.
  5. In the mean time, split the bun and place a small bunch of pea shoots on each bun. Layer with a tomato and a spoon full of Beetroot Aioli.
  6. Place the rabbit burger and top with a slice of pancetta.

Beetroot Aioli

  • 1 large or 2 small beetroots (fresh)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees centigrade.
  2. Peel beetroots chop into 1cm cubes, place in bowl and mix with 1 tsp olive oil until coated in the oil.
  3. Spread beetroots on a sheet pan covered with a baking sheet and place in over for about half an hour, or until betroots are soft and sweet. 
  4. Allow beetroots to cool slightly then put in a blender with the garlic and egg yolk. Puree until smooth.
  5. Drizzle the oil into the mixture with the motor still running.
  6. Add the lemon juice and season to taste.  
Rabbit burger, tempura mushrooms & courgettes, sweet potato wedges


  1. I can't eat rabbits - they are way too cute.

    1. Trust can when they get older and meaner and bite you!!!

  2. @Loree But they're sooo healthy for you... and so yum! :)

  3. They taste better than they look.