Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Spiced marinated rabbit with herbed couscous and pine nuts

Prep time over 2 hours
Cook time over 2 hours
Serves 2
From Saturday Kitchen Best Bites
Rabbit tastes wonderful with a hint of added spice in this dish. Serve alongside herby couscous for a delicious evening meal.


  1. Heat a frying pan until hot, then add the cumin and coriander seeds, peppercorns and dried chilli and toast for 1-2 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time. Pour the spices into a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder.

  2. Transfer the spice mixture to a large bowl and add the olive oil, garlic, coriander root and mint. Mix well.

  3. Add the rabbit loins to the bowl and stir to coat with the marinade. Massage well into the meat then set aside in a cool place for a few hours.

  4. Heat a frying pan until hot. Wipe off the excess marinade from the rabbit and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking.

  5. For the couscous, place the couscous into a bowl and pour over enough boiling water to just cover. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside for five minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, place the vinegar and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for one minute, or until the sugar has dissolved.

  7. Remove from the heat and add the shallots. Stir well, then set aside.

  8. Remove the cling film from the couscous and use a fork to fluff up and separate the grains.

  9. Add the chopped piquillo peppers, pine nuts, coriander and mint and stir well.

  10. Add the shallots and some of the vinegar mixture, to taste. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  11. To serve, place a spoonful of couscous into the centre of each of two serving plates. Slice the rabbit loins and arrange over the couscous. Spoon over any meat juices from the pan.


For the rabbit

  • 2 rabbit loins
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tbsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tbsp white peppercorns
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander root (available from Asian stores; if unavailable, substitute coriander leaves and stalks)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves

For the couscous

  • 110g/4oz couscous
  • boiling water, to cover
  • 110ml/4fl oz Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3-4 banana shallots, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 4 canned piquillo peppers (available from some supermarkets and Spanish delis), drained and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Spiced marinated rabbit with herbed couscous and pine nuts

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