This succulent rabbit in salmorejo sauce is a delicious recipe that comes straight from the Canary islands! You just have to try out this Spanish rabbit stew. You need very few ingredients here!
Have you ever heard of “conejo en salmorejo” or rabbit in salmorejo sauce before?
No? Well then, this is a typical Canarian specialty from the beautiful Spanish island of Tenerife. You can also find this dish in lots of local restaurants here. Especially as part of a lunch menu on weekdays. I have eaten rabbit in salmorejo sauce quite a few times before and I can tell you that not one was similar to another.
Every home cook and chef seems to have their own recipe for it. Which might come a bit as a surprise since the ingredients you need for it are very simple and straightforward. But apparently it is possible to come up with different stews here as well.
Rabbit is very popular in Tenerife. If you drive around in the mountains, you might stumble upon rabbit hunters and their dogs. In the local supermarkets an entire skinned rabbit will cost around 6 to 7 bucks. Which is very cheap of course.
Not only this rabbit in salmorejo sauce is a classic, fried rabbit with caramelised onions is yet another delicacy! The Spanish call that treat ‘conejo encebollado’.
Do you like rabbit?
I love it.
But what does it really taste like?
Well that’s a difficult one. I would say that its taste is closer to chicken than pork. Also rabbit meat is white meat, and not red just like its other furry cousin the hare. I am surprised though by the amount of people who don’t eat rabbit. Even die hard carnivores and full blown foodies have rejected a plate of rabbit when we went out for dinner.
And basically all the time the reason behind it is because rabbit is way too cute and reminds lots of people of previous pets. Sure it is a cute thing, and so are cows and chickens.
Rabbit in Salmorejo Sauce (Conejo en Salmorejo)
Have you ever been to the Canary islands?
It is a group of 8 Spanish islands in the Atlantic Ocean, about 100 kms (62 mi) away from the African coast. My husband and I first visited Tenerife about 6 years ago. Two months later we also became proud owners of a gorgeous apartment in the South.
Never been there?
Because this island has so much to offer. Gastronomy, local wines, breathtaking nature and landscapes, a colorful history and entertainment. I’m a food blogger and I often prepare local Canarian specialties for this website here.
Interested in reading more blogs about this island? Peter from Tenerife Forum put together a list of Tenerife blogs about this island, highly recommendable! ‘Paulina on the road’ is my favorite. And then I’m very proud of course that my blog is also mentioned.
One remark though.
In Andalusia you can find an appetizing cold tomato and vinegar soup called salmorejo. But here the salmorejo sauce in this rabbit recipe means something else. It mainly consist of baked rabbit liver (kidneys also at times), lots of garlic, Spanish ground paprika, wine and vinegar.
If you don’t like liver or anything close to liver taste, just leave it out. You can perfectly make the sauce with the rest of the ingredients. But I like it a lot because it also makes the salmorejo sauce thicker.
Oh well, I just love recipes with liver!
So what’s the best side dish to serve this rabbit in salmorejo sauce with?
Are you interested in other Canarian recipes?
Then you should also check out my frangollo dessert, or potage de berros or watercress soup with corn and pork belly!
Rabbit in Salmorejo Sauce (Conejo en Salmorejo)
- 1 whole fresh rabbit with liver
- 6 medium garlic cloves
- ½ tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp paprika powder
- ½ tbsp ground cumin or cumin seeds
- 1 small red bell pepper
- ½ cup olive oil (120 ml)
- 5 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 5 tbsp dry white wine
- 2 bay leaves crumbled
- Remove the liver (and kidneys if they are still attached) and place this aside until needed later. Cut the rabbit into 8 pieces: sever the head, 4 legs and chop the remaining rib case and spine into 3 pieces. Place the chopped rabbit in a large baking dish.
- Chop the liver up. Pour a little olive oil in a non-stick pan, place it over medium-high heat and add the liver (and kidneys if using) once the oil is hot.
- Quickly bake the liver (and kidneys) until cooked through and then take the pan off the heat. Let it cool a little.
- Peel the garlic cloves and add them to a blender (you can also use a pestle if you have one). Then add the crumbled bay leaves, dried thyme, cumin and hot paprika. Season with a generous pinch of salt.
- Blend (or mash) into a wet paste. Add the white wine, 4 tbsp of olive oil and the red vinegar.
- Blend again. Clean and chop up the red bell pepper. Add this to the blender together with the baked rabbit liver (and kidneys).
- Blend into a smooth red paste. Check the seasoning and add extra salt, vinegar or hot paprika to taste if necessary.
- Pour the salmorejo marinade over the chopped rabbit and stir well.
- Cover the dish with a piece of cling film. Let the rabbit marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Stir every hour. After that, pour a little olive oil in a large non-stick pan, place it over medium-high heat and add the bits of rabbit to the hot oil.
- Bake the rabbit on all sides until golden. Then turn the heat lower and add the remaining salmorejo marinade to the rabbit in the pan.
- Cover the pan and simmer the rabbit for another 20 to 30 minutes. In the end check the seasoning and add extra spicy paprika or salt to taste. Divide the rabbit in salmorejo sauce over plates and drizzle with the remaining sauce. Serve hot.