Rabbit Fillet Recipe

Rabbit fillet prep

Rabbit fillet, like any other fillet of meat, is the most tender cut.  The same guidelines used in preparing rabbit fillet applies to that of, say beef, only as the rabbit fillet is much smaller, it cooks very quickly.  In this very simple recipe, I have combined the all-time South African favourite, pumpkin fritters, with cougette ribbons and a super easy sauce that is made in seconds.  Recipe serves 4.


  • 4 cleaned and trimmed rabbit fillet
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 small bunches sage
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup good quality chardonnay (or any with wine – I just like the woodyness of a good oak barrel chardonnay)
  • 1 cup cooked pumpkin – see note
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup self raising flower
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar – (Pumpkin Fritters normally have more, but I wanted them a bit more savory for this dish)
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 4 to 5 courgettes, depending on the size
  • Butter & oil for frying

Start by rolling your fillets up like a pinwheel, then stick a skewer through them, always starting at the end point of the fillet and then going straight through the middle.  In a small dish (I used a bread tin) lay half of the herbs and half of the garlic at the bottom and place your fillet skewers on top, ensuring that the herbs and garlic are touching the fillet.  Then place the rest of the herbs and garlic on top of the fillet and press down gently into the meat.  Mix your Dijon mustard and white wine together and pour over the herbed fillets.  Allow this to marinate for at least an hour.  You could omit the marinating stage and go straight into frying the fillets, but the marination really does allow the flavours to develop more.

Now for your pumpkin fritters – (note: to cook your pumpkin, try use little water and rather add when the pan is looking dry, so that once they are cooked there should be no liquid left and the pumpkin fairly dry).  Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend.  The mixture should be like a runny mash potato consistency.  If not, add a little more flour to thicken, or a dash of milk to liquify.  Place some oil in a pan, and then using a ladel, ladel the pumpkin mixture into the hot oil.  Fry gently until brown, then flip over and fry until lightly puffed up and browned.  Place on paper towel to absorb any oil.

Using a potato peeler, peel the courgette from top to bottom to get long ribbons.  Discard the first peel.  Fry these in a little butter, with a dash of lemon juice.  Season and set aside for plating.

Now back to the rabbit.  Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.  Place a tablespoon of butter into a very hot saucepan, then add the rabbit fillets, still on the skewer with the herbs that would have stuck to the meat while marinating, and sear to get a nice brown seal (no, the rabbit will not turn into a brown seal from the sea – this is a term used in cooking when you seal meat in order to keep the juices inside the meat).  Turn over and sear the other side, then add the marinating liquids to the pan and fry for around another minute.  Remove the fillets from the pan back into the marinating dish, pouring all the juices and herbs that are left back as well.  Place in the oven (preheated to 200 degrees) for around 5 minutes, but no more.  Remove from the oven, cover with tin foil and allow to rest while you start plating.

You can either do it all “fancy-pants” like in my picture below, or you could simply stack each ingredient on top of each other, which will look just as pretty.

Now for the sauce that is ready in seconds – in a mixing bowl, place 3 tablespoons of Helmans Mayo (this one is a lot less tangy than Cross & Blackwell), 3 tablespoons of cream and 1 teaspoon of all-spice.  Mix with a spoon, add a little salt and white pepper, pinch of nutmeg,  then finish off with 1 tablespoon of orange juice.  Voilà!

Use any left over sage leaves and deep fry for literally 15 to 20 seconds in very hot oil, place on paper towel and salt lightly.

Rabbit Fillet



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