Rabbit and Apricot Stew – Meat Meets Sweet.

Rabbit and apricot stew (1 of 12)

It’s time I gave the lot of you a good tongue lashing. I can’t abide conservatism (that’s with a little ‘c’, not an accusation of a political nature). I particularly can’t abide the general unwillingness to mix meat and fruit. I know there are the few exceptions to your reluctance, such as duck and orange, pork and apple and such like. These tend to be bittersweet fruits and don’t really qualify as sweet, sweet. I’m here to tell you to get over yourself. Try having a sweet stew. You probably won’t regret doing so. If you are willing to liberate your taste buds, this Rabbit and Apricot Stew is a great starting point.

For this toothsome bit of sweetness, you will need the following ingredients;

  • 1 rabbit or a couple of loins and a couple of legs (front)
  • 8 apricots
  • 4 onions
  • 3 or 4 carrots
  • 4 or 5 waxy potatoes
  • A bouquet garni
  • A large teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 2 glasses of medium sweet white wine
  • Salt and pepper to season

Side note on medium sweet wines: Do I have to call around to your house and beat you into trying some with an open mind? No, it is not going to make your teeth stick together in the same way as a cheap Pinot Gringo might. However, many of them have layers of complexity and flavour that are just waiting to be appreciated. Open your mind and enjoy the experience. 

Slice the onions into quarters, then half the quarters.

An artistic shot of some onions - Why not?

An artistic shot of some onions. The layers in the knife reflecting the onions’ layers.

Slice the rabbit into bite size (or larger pieces).

Rabbit meat can be a bit dry. The sweet stew works well with it.

Rabbit meat can be a bit dry. The sweet stew works well with it.

Heat a casserole dish on the stovetop. Add a little oil and the onions. Soften them over a low to medium heat.

This is a really simple stew.

This is a really simple stew.

Remove the onions. Add the rabbit in batches and brown it on all sides.

The casserole was a lender. I love the colour.

The casserole was a lender. I love the colour.

Slice the carrots. Cut the potatoes into even sized pieces. Slice the apricots in half, removing the stones.

These apricots were in peak condition.

These apricots were in peak condition.

When the rabbit is brown, add all the ingredients except the apricots and potatoes to the casserole. Season well.

The carrots look almost electric. I haven't highlighted them.

The carrots look almost electric. I haven’t highlighted them.

The wine is best added last to prevent splashing. Return the balance of the wine to the fridge.

The wine seems like a strange addition. Trust me...

The wine seems like a strange addition. Trust me…

Bring the dish to the boil and place on the lid. Pop it into a 180ºC oven for 45 minutes. Add the potatoes and apricots. Replace the lid.

No need to mix them in. They will steam on top.

No need to mix them in. They will steam on top.

Return to the oven, covered for another 20 minutes or so, until the potatoes are cooked. Remove the bouquet garni and serve the stew. Serve it with a generous glass of chilled medium sweet wine.

Sweetness is a good thing in this stew.

Sweetness is a good thing in this stew.

This was delicious. Even if you are saying to yourself “Uggg, I hate sweet wines”, I encourage you to open your mind and embrace the sweetness and meatness. It’s wonderful.


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Latest comments
  • This looks really incredible. My husband refuses to eat meat mixed with fruit. He’s missing out!!!

  • What a fabulous combo! I wish I could find fresh rabbit meat round here. But no luck.

  • Meat with fruit has been around for quite a while. Yours look delish. However, curry with raisins is not quite my cup of tea.

    You have brought your boxing gloves. Have there been casualties yet?

  • Yes, I can see those boxing gloves also!! Many decry meat with fruit and the Down Under ham with pineapple is not quite my cup of tea either . . .but, if only I can find such lovely plump bunny, shall try yours in a flash! Love the smoked paprika, but wonder whether they do sell medium sweet white wine in half-bottles? Here . . . well, call me intellectually disabled food-wise, but none in the house I am afraid 🙂 ! Have to laugh at CK: when a young bride back when I remember curries being made with curry powder and raisins and having pine and banana pieces as sides . . , !!!

  • I’m guilty, ok?

  • I sure wish I could come over and try some of these dishes you make Conor!

  • Delicious! I adore meat and fruit dishes. Rabbit isn’t a problem, but we never get good apricots here…

  • There is a lot of low quality semisweet “plunk” out there that has ruined the reputation of medium sweet wine. In those cases, the residual sugar is used to mask what is wrong with the wine and what you end up with doesn’t have any character. Luckily some good “moelleux” wine is out there, and will indeed be perfect for, and with, this dish. Those apricots look great. You may remember I did a lamb stew with dried apricots and prunes and served it as a dessert last year. Since you don’t add any sugar apart from the apricots and the wine, I think this will be fine (in terms of sweetness) as a main course. I like the addition of the smoked paprika. You are right that rabbit tends to get dry, but there is a solution for that… 🙂

  • I will never be guilty of such a sin! Love fruit-meat the combination – whether they are fresh or dried fruits.
    Rabbit meat is not so easy to find around here, but I did have my share of rabbit dishes to know that is is a winner. It looks absolutely delicious! 🙂

  • This is probably a stupid question but when you say cut the rabbit up into bite sized pieces, that’s everything except the legs, right? Or are you taking the meat off the legs before you cook it?

  • This looks extraordinary!

  • Rats! Your website has now stopped informing me when you post, and I’m still not able to Like. I came looking for a nice pork belly recipe and realised there are at least 4 posts I haven’t seen, starting with this one. I think the only solution is to unFollow and then reFollow, in the hope that I will rejoin the ranks of the privileged… Love this recipe, by the way, game and fruit are made for each other.

      • … and the pork belly ended up roasted on a rack, rubbed with oil, salt, smoked paprika and freshly crushed fennel seed. Food of the gods, but my word, it’s rich, isn’t it?

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