Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Anna Sultana's Stuffat tal Fenek (Rabbit Stew, Maltese Style)

As beef is to Texas, rabbit is to Malta.
Back in 1952, after we had moved from Corona to College Point in Queens - a borough in New York - Pop set up a few cages of rabbits in our garage.
The rabbits did what rabbits do.
After a while Pop needed more cages.
As a result, we had lots of rabbit meat to eat.

Ma had a few favourite recipes for preparing the rabbits Pop raised.

Her Fenek bit-tewm u bl-Imbid (Rabbit with Garlic and Wine) was often served for Sunday dinner.
For old time’s sake we also prepared it when my parents visited us when we lived in British Columbia in the ’70s.
That was an amazing surprise.
Somehow or other, Pop had found some rabbits.
Like I said, rabbits are important to Maltese.

Another favourite recipe was Ma's Fenek fil forn (Roasted Rabbit).
It's a simple recipe, which works just as well with stewing fowl.

Ma also cooked Stuffat tal Fenek (Rabbit Stew).
Rabbit is now available in the frozen food section in stores.
Why not surprise the family with something a little different?


This recipe also works with a stewing hen.

You can use either frozen peas or a can of peas, undrained.

                        Stuffat tal Fenek

Peel and quarter
2 onions
6 carrots
2 cloves garlic

Cut a rabbit into small pieces.
Flour the pieces and place in a large bowl.

Pour into a dutch oven 
1/4 Cup olive oil
Over medium heat fry the rabbit pieces until browned on all sides.
1 Cup dry red wine
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Place the fried rabbit and wine in the large bowl.

Place in the same dutch oven
2 Tablespoons olive oil 
the prepared onions and garlic
Fry until golden.
the fried rabbit pieces and wine
2 ounces tomato paste
4 ripe tomatoes, halved
the prepared carrots
1 bay leaf
Add enough water to cover the rabbit pieces.
Bring to a boil.
8 ounces peas
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Simmer gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Serve with spaghetti or any other favourite pasta.
Polenta is also good.


  1. Hi Margaret:)
    I was laughing to myself while reading this post. I guess it really depends on where you live, what your use to and how many rabbits are hopping about, lol...

    I've actually had rabbit on a few ocassions and liked it. This sounds like a very interesting meal. I know for sure Marion won't have anything to do with it though, lol...Thanks for sharing, Margaret...

  2. Hi, Louise,

    Glad it gave you a laugh! I was born on my grandpa's farm. Guess I'm still a farm kid. I loved petting the bunnies Pop raised. But I also loved sitting down to my Ma's rabbit stew.

    I can understand Marion's reaction. Back in 1973 meat was overly expensive and the stores in British Columbia tried selling horse meat. Pop bought some, I cooked it, but Ma wouldn't touch it. Everybody has a limit :-)

    Thanks for dropping by! Say hi to Marion and the gang!

  3. Bonjour j ai eu l occasion de voir a la télévision une recette de stuffat-tal-fenek,et j aurais aimé acheter (meme sur une boutique en ligne)les épices "Rabbit seasoning" pour réaliser ce plat .J'habite la Belgique pouvez vous m aider .merci d avance .(

  4. Hello, I have never heard of packaged rabbit seasoning. When I make rabbit stew I use the above recipe. Maybe there is a mix of powdered garlic, crushed bay leaves, salt and pepper. But it isn’t necessary to buy a special spice blend.

    My mother’s other rabbit recipe also uses these four spices

    Rabbit is similar to chicken in that it has a mild flavour. Some people like spicier recipes and some prefer milder. Some people don’t like garlic and leave it out.

    After you have cooked a stew or a soup or a sauce, taste it before serving to see if you would like it to have more spice in it. If you found it too spicy make a note on the recipe to use less spice if you want to make it again.

    A recipe is one way of preparing a dish. But feel free to change it for what you prefer. You might create a new recipe that becomes very popular!

    I hope this helps.


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