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Conejo en salmorejo (Rabbit in marinade)

Conejo en salmorejo. Image: Javier Lastras Some rights reserved

One of the most typical dishes of the Canary IslandsConejo en salmorejo (rabbit in marinade) has its origins in the peninsula, as it appears much earlier in cookbooks in Aragon. This recipe comes from La Orotava, from the Tasca Bodegón "El Raspón".

1 rabbit of about 2 kg. approx., cleaned and jointed
750 ml of white wine
250 ml. red wine vinegar
1 head of garlic (about 15 garlic cloves approx.)
1 bay leaf
1 chilli
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
1 tablespoon of thyme and another of oregano.
Coarse salt (50 g. Approx.)
600 ml. mild extra virgin olive oil 

How to make rabbit in salmorejo

The greatest difficulty of this recipe would be to clean the rabbit, although you can find it ready cleaned and cut up in most supermarkets and butchers. If you decide to cut it up yourself, you must be careful, as small pieces of bone may come off. Wash the rabbit and remove all its fat. Add the liver (optional). Reserve everything in a large container.

Put the peeled garlic cloves and the chilli in a mortar. You can remove the seeds from the latter if you prefer, but this spicy touch is important to the recipe. Crush everything to a paste, then little by little add the paprika, vinegar, white wine and finally a handful of coarse salt.

Cover the pieces of rabbit with the marinade, the bay leaf and the rest of the spices. All the pieces need to be well covered so that they soak up the flavour well and the wine and vinegar act to soften the meat. Cover in an airtight container and marinate in the fridge for 24 hours. After the maceration time, remove the rabbit from the marinade.

Add the olive oil to a deep casserole and place over a low-medium heat. When the oil is hot, drain the rabbit and, with a fork, take one of the pieces of rabbit at a time and place them in the hot oil. Fry the rabbit, for around 15 minutes over low-medium heat, then increase to hot, so that they are done well and golden brown. Remove and place them in a large casserole.

Turn off the heat and pour the remaining marinade over the oil in which the rabbit was cooked. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes, so that the alcohol in the wine and vinegar evaporates. Add the salmorejo to the casserole with the rabbit and simmer for 30 minutes over medium heat, until the rabbit is tender. Turn the pieces of rabbit after 15 minutes, if necessary. If it runs out of liquid, add a little water. Season to your liking. 

Allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving and sprinkle with a little chopped fresh parsley or coriander. Serve with a side of Papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes).

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