Rabbit Porchetta

October  6, 2013
3 Ratings
Photo by Alex Farnum
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Porchetta is usually made from a whole hog or whole pork middle, boned, seasoned generously with garlic, fennel and herbs, then rolled, tied and roasted. It is a thing of beauty, a great big thing, best cooked for a big hungry crowd. This miniature version of the original, made with rabbit, follows the traditional porchetta principles of rolling a roast with spices, garlic, citrus and herbs. While still loaded with porchetta flavor, it is scaled for everyday dining and can be prepared in a fraction of the time. —Toponia Miller

What You'll Need
  • 1 large stewer rabbit, 4 to 6 pounds
  • sea salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic pounded to a fine paste in a mortar and pestle
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fennel pollen
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup chopped herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, parsley and sage
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. Bone the rabbit. Lay the rabbit on its back and check its abdominal cavity for kidneys or livers (they are often left attached). If either is present, remove them with a sharp knife and set aside. Remove the forelegs by using your hands to gently pry them away from the body. Then cut them off completely by following the natural seam under the foreleg. Reserve the forelegs for another use. Starting at the neck end, working with your boning knife against the rib cage, remove the meat from the bone. When you reach the loin area, curve the tip of your knife around the loin until you hit the backbone. Repeat this process down the length of the rib cage until you reach the back legs. Remove the backbone by severing the tip of each vertebra while simultaneously pulling the rib cage away from the rabbit. Take care not to pierce through the meat. Separate the leg bones from the hip socket by gently popping them out of the socket from behind. Remove the bones from the legs on both sides, taking care to only cut as deep as the bone.
  2. Lay the completely boneless rabbit out on your work surface and rub the inside with the pounded garlic and lemon zest. Season both the inside and outside of the rabbit with the salt, pepper and fennel pollen then sprinkle the chopped herbs over the interior. Roll the boneless rabbit tightly around itself lengthwise. Tie with butcher’s twine at 3-inch (7.5 cm) intervals. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one to three days.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Place the roulade on a rack fitted onto a roasting pan and lightly rub olive oil all over. Roast for about 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 140°F (60°C) when inserted into the thickest portion of the roast. Remove from the oven and allow the roast to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into half-inch (1.25 cm) thick rounds. Strain the pan juices and spoon over the sliced meat.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Chef Devaux
    Chef Devaux
  • Sean
  • dunham
  • HeatherM

6 Reviews

Chef D. November 28, 2015
it's like a rabbit sushi roll :)
Sean October 20, 2013
Boning video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6ud68Qmdyc

I had smaller rabbits so it was *tough*.
dunham October 10, 2013
When I make this, I usually stuff the inside with some cooked fennel, onion, and sweet italian sausage. I reserve the hind legs for a cacciatore for two, and bone out the forelegs for a portion of laab. (A spicy thai salad, substitute the rabbit for chicken.) That way I get a few meals of of one rabbit. The bones can be browned and used to make a sauce to serve with the rabbit.
HeatherM October 9, 2013
Ditto to anntruelove. Definitely not a chance of qualifying as "everyday dining" without more detail on the deboning (photo or video). It looks amazing - help us out, yo!
anntruelove October 9, 2013
I love to eat rabbit and it's a shame that so many people in the US have never had it yet object to trying it. I'd love to make this recipe but I really don't have any confidence in my ability to debone the rabbit as described in this recipe. Any chance someone at Food52 could make a short video demonstrating how this is done??
dav August 9, 2020
here's a great video of how to debone a rabbit!