Rabbit, Pancetta & Rosemary Pate


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Limoncello and Linen Water

Limoncello and Linen Water

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2012

  • About

This recipe comes from Lydia’s friend. She always makes a double dose and takes one to a friend. You could use a pressure cooker to shorten the cooking time. If so, add just enough liquid to cover. Serve this with grilled bread.


  • 1 rabbit, cut up into 8-10 pieces
  • about 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) water
  • 400 g (14 oz) sliced round pancetta
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 heaped tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • teaspoons fine salt
  • 5-6 black peppercorns


Rinse the rabbit under cold water and remove any fat and unwanted bits. Put in a pot with the water. Roll up the pancetta slices a few at a time and cut with kitchen scissors into the pot. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary, salt and peppercorns. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer until the rabbit is very tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove the rabbit pieces (keeping the liquid) and cool a little, but they should still be a bit warm when you clean and purée them.

Remove the meat from the rabbit bones. Squelch the meat through your fingers (this is rather therapeutic) into a bowl to make sure no small bits of bone remain. Be thorough. Put the pancetta, onion and cleaned rabbit meat in the bowl of a food processor and add about 185 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) of the cooking water. Pulse to blend the mixture to a smooth purée. Taste for seasoning.

Line a 30 x 11 x 6 cm (12 x 4¼ x 2½ inch) loaf tin with a double thickness of baking paper. Leave some overhang on the long sides. Scrape the rabbit purée in and smooth the surface. Fold the overhanging baking paper across to cover the top, then put the tin in the fridge overnight.

To serve, lift the pâté from the tin using the overhanging paper and turn upside down onto a plate. Top with a few good grinds of pepper. Serve at room temperature with grilled bread and a nice salad.