Butter Roasted Wild Rabbit with Honey Mustard Sauce

There's some debate about whether butter has a place on a paleo diet - I can tolerate it in small amounts. If you tolerate it, go ahead! 

An easy, tasty recipe for roasted wild rabbit, with a beautiful honey mustard sauce to go alongside. 

Huge thanks to Farmer's Choice Free Range, who provided the rabbit along with a contribution towards the cost of creating this post. 

You know, there's a lot of soul searching you end up doing, when you cook a whole rabbit. 

It's just lying there, fur-less, curled up in your casserole dish, ready for you to slide it into your hot oven. And there I am, trying to get thoughts of fluffy little bunnies leaping about the British countryside out of my head.

But I think that there's a place for rabbit for dinner. 

I remember my childhood dinner table had a rabbit on there about once every fortnight. There was pheasant quite often on there, too. I'm not sure where they came from - whether there was a game man at the local market or if my Dad had friends who liked to shoot, but whatever. Eating rabbit was ordinary for me. It was lean, nutritious and cheap, too. 

I've cooked rabbit in a peppery Bolognese, in a tarragon based stew and eaten it cold, as leftovers. It's generally well known that if you want to eat rabbit, you ought to stew it, because it's very lean and doesn't stand up very well to roasting, which can make it very dry. 

So, when I got an email from Farmer's Choice Free Range to ask if I would roast a rabbit, I thought it would be a challenge. 

Turns out though, that we've been roasting bunnies for literally ages

Butter Roasted Wild Rabbit Recipe with Honey Mustard Sauce

I found an old English Medieval recipe online, which stated to smear the rabbit in lots of butter before roasting, to keep it moist. They also recommended serving it with a sauce made of spices like clove and cinnamon, which is one I'll try for another time. Another old recipe from Ye Olde Days mentioned mustard. All good. Especially the butter bit. Roasting a rabbit slathered in butter sounded like a brilliant idea. 

Then I decided to ask my Facebook friends. There were some who thought I was mad to be roasting it in the first place. There were others who recommended pouring in some liquid, to try and create some moisture while it cooks. And then one of my friends suggested honey. 

Woah, wait. 

Honey, mustard, rabbit, BUTTER. 

How could this go wrong?

Butter Roasted Wild Rabbit Recipe with Honey Mustard Sauce

It was REALLY good. It's probably my favourite way to eat rabbit, ever. And to think I had worries about it in the beginning. Ffft. Seriously.

Butter Roasted Wild Rabbit Recipe with Honey Mustard Sauce

The meat wasn't dry - I think the butter and stock combo helped to reduce any dryness - plus it was on a fairly gentle heat for a short amount of time, so that must have helped, too. And the sweet mustardy dip alongside it is luscious. Try it. Let me know what you think. 

Butter Roasted Rabbit with Honey Mustard Sauce
Serves 3-4
1 x 1kg (2.2lb) whole rabbit, defrosted if frozen and stored in the fridge
75g butter
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
125ml hot chicken stock
2 tbsp runny honey
1 heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard
pinch of salt, if needed

Take the rabbit out of the fridge after defrosting, and cut it out of its packaging. Have a quick look at the carcass and trim off any bits that were left on (there was a bit of liver or something still attached to mine). Place it in a roasting dish or tray. Take the butter and pinch pieces off and smear onto the rabbit, all over the skin and inside the cavity. Scatter with the finely chopped fresh parsley and slide into the oven at 165ÂșC. Roast, uncovered, for 30 minutes. 

Once the 30 minutes are up, take the dish out of the oven and place onto a trivet. Pour the hot stock into the base of the pan, and cover the dish with foil. Slide back into the oven and cook for one hour. 

Once the hour is up, take the rabbit out of the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes, while you make the sauce. 

To make the sauce, just mix the honey and mustard together in a small bowl. 

Serve the rabbit, seasoned with a little salt, with the sauce alongside. This would work perfectly with creamy mash, but likewise a rocket/arugula salad if you prefer that, too. 

Ever roasted rabbit? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below! 

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Made this recipe? I'd love to hear what you thought - do post a pic to Instagram and tag me in @joromerofood - I always love to see your versions of my recipes! 


  1. I’m assuming you cooked the rabbit for one hour because it was 1 kilo. I have a 1.3k rabbit, how do I check to see if it’s cooked? I’ve never cooked rabbit in the oven before

    1. Hi Ana, sorry for the late reply. I'd cook for one hour, then cut into it a little maybe at the thigh and see what the meat looks like. You'll tell it's cooked if it's similar to chicken - it won't look pink and fleshy if it's cooked.


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