Defrost those over-iced bunnies and turn them into a tender and juicy main with Philippa Davis' rabbit in lemon, thyme and milk recipe

Rabbit in lemon, thyme and milk will ensure even the oldest and most over-iced bunnies are tender and moist on the plate. Rabbit is an abundant, lean and healthy meat source, says Phillipa Davis, but can become dry so cook it slowly, keep it moist and never boil it.

Try something a little different with your game with our wild rabbit, almond and saffron pastilla recipe, a light starter which gives rabbit an unexpected Moroccan twist. Or if you’re packing up for a picnic, try our wild rabbit rolls. A gamey update on the classic sausage roll, these miniature mouthfuls are perfect for dining alfresco.


Slow, gentle cooking helps to keep the meat tender and moist.

Serves a hearty 2

  • 1 x jointed rabbit
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 10g thyme
  • 4 strips lemon zest
  • 2 strips orange zest
  • 400ml milk
  • 100ml dry vermouth or white wine

Give the rabbit pieces a quick rinse and pat dry.

In a heavy-based saucepan, gently sear the rabbit in the olive oil and butter (keep in the kidneys and liver if they
are there).

When browned on all sides add the garlic, bay, thyme and lemon and orange strips. Fry for a couple of minutes then add the milk and vermouth and season (the liquid may look curdled but don’t worry, it will form a delicious sauce once cooked).

Place a cartouche and lid on the pan and simmer gently for about 2 hours or until the rabbit is tender, turning occasionally and adding a splash more milk if necessary. When cooked, you should be left with tender rabbit and plenty of sauce with very tasty golden nuggets at the bottom of the pan.

Serve the rabbit in lemon, thyme and milk hot with creamy mashed potato and greens.