River Cottage Australia



Try this recipe for rich rabbit rillettes preserved with pork belly and duck fat and flavoured with herbs and spices by Paul West from River Cottage Australia.


  • 1kg rabbit, weighed with bone in

  • 300g rindless pork belly, not too lean, cut into 3cm cubes

  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus extra to taste

  • 100g duck fat

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 5 bay leaves

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg


  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 220C. Joint the rabbit in 8 pieces.

  • 2.

    Heat a large frypan over a medium heat and brown the pork belly on all sides. Transfer to a large baking dish that fits the rabbit in one layer in the bottom.

  • 3.

    Season rabbit with 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper, lightly brown rabbit pieces in the same frypan, the transfer to baking dish. Add duck fat, wine, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic. The liquid should almost cover the meat, add up to 1 cup water if needed.

  • 4.

    Place baking dish in oven and roast 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 140C and cook 2 ½ hours, or until meat is very tender. Meat should easily pull away from the bone.

  • 5.

    Remove from oven, leave to cool until you can handle heat with hands. Shred all meat from the rabbit bones, transferring meat to a large bowl as it is done.

  • 6.

    Strain enough of the cooking liquid over the shredded meat to moisten, season with more salt to taste, and nutmeg. Mix well, then transfer rabbit mixture to small terrine jar or earthenware pot. Add a little more cooking liquid to ensure surface is completely covered.

  • 7.

    Place on a tray in the refrigerator until the top is set. Cover with foil or a lid to fit, and refrigerate overnight to allow flavours to develop. Serve with hot fresh crusty bread.

  • Tips:

  • 1.

    The meat is cooked when the rabbit falls from the bones easily.

  • 2.

    Paul uses duck fat rendered from his own ducks. But you can use fresh pork fat and render it down instead of using duck fat. Place the back fat in a heavy-based dish at the bottom of a low oven and slowly heat. Pour off fat into a heat-proof dish as it renders, every 15-20 minutes.

  • 3.

    Free-range duck fat can be bought in most good delicatessens, or ordered in by most butchers. Otherwise the fat can be rendered from a whole free-range duck.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (12 servings)

  • Energy 329kj
  • Fat Total 26g
  • Saturated Fat 9g
  • Protein 19g
  • Carbohydrate 1g
  • Sugar 0g
  • Sodium 199mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

Powered by

Metric Converter

Tell us what you think in the comments below


Sign Out

Click to Rate

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.

0 0 0 0 0
Average Rating
0 comments • 0 ratings