Spiced Rabbit Casserole

Tavşan yahnisi


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Although hares were once hunted for food, neither furry game nor alcohol feature much in the classic Turkish dishes. This recipe, though, contains both. The wine enhances the richness of the sauce.


  • 1 rabbit, jointed into 4 or 6 portions
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter, or olive oil with a little butter
  • 10-12 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 6 allspice berries, crushed
  • 6 cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon roasted kırmızı biber
  • 1 strong-smelling cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon pekmez
  • ¼ pint/150 ml water
  • small bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the marinade

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ pint/150 ml red wine
  • 2-3 bay leaves, crushed


  • Mix together the marinade ingredients, and marinade the rabbit for at least 8 hours.
  • Drain the rabbit joints and reserve the marinade. Heat the butter in a large pan or casserole dish and brown the joints. Transfer them to a plate and put aside.
  • Brown the shallots with the garlic and spices in the same butter. Stir in the raisins and pekmez and return the rabbit joints to the pan. Pour over the marinade, add the water, and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook gently for about 1 hour, until the rabbit is tender.
  • Once cooked, transfer the joints to a serving dish. Bubble up the sauce, season it to taste, and remove the cinnamon stick. Spoon the sauce over the rabbit, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve with a spinach or plain pilav.