Rabbit recipes

Article and photos by Mikko Reinikka, recipes by Kristian Vuojärvi, English translation Sini Kaukonen

Pintxo Magazine wants to raise awareness regarding some rarer and more ethically sourced food ingredients from Finnish small producers. In our previous issue, our test group got the chance to taste some well-marbled rib steak from a five-year-old Lapland cow of Finnish indigenous cattle. This time around, a test group of eight people sat down at Tampereen Gourmetclub, where the leader of The Culinary Team of Finland, Kristian Vuojärvi, got to show off his skill with rabbit meat. Kristian was given free rein with the menu.

The rabbits came straight from Jonna Kumpulainen, who is one of the few full-time rabbit breeders in Finland. Kumpulan Kanitila operates in an old village shop in Kangasala. There is also a small slaughterhouse on the premises for the handling of rabbit carcasses. The rabbits we ate had been butchered the previous day. The meat is very light and soft, there is no need for dry-aging.

Jonna Kumpulainen breeds mainly Argenté de Champagne rabbits and Vienna rabbits, whose meat weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms after slaughter. The rabbits are eaten at about 3 to 4 months of age. They live in spacious cages year-round, and eat dried hay and cereal feeds with, for example, peas, carrots and field beans mixed in. The consumption of feed is quite small. The kits stay in the same cage with their mother until they are about six weeks old. For any inquiries concerning the rabbits, contact: jonna.k.kumpulainen@gmail.com.

An adult crossbreed rabbit likes to eat goutweeed.
Breeder Jonna Kumpulainen displaying a four-week-old rabbit.
A Vienna rabbit in its spacious cage of 1.64 square meters.

For our group of eight people, we got four Argenté de Champagne carcasses, including internal organs, because we wanted to use the hearts, livers, and kidneys as well. For the menu, Kristian Vuojärvi used the meat of two rabbits and the internal organs of four rabbits. This resulted in a splendid dinner menu. Our entrée was rabbit liver mousse, next we had some ragoût made with internal organs, and our main course was pan-fried rabbit fillets and overcooked rabbit legs. Vuojärvi's recipes are included in this article.

Rabbit meat is very mild-flavored, and it should not be over-seasoned. The rabbit fillets were left medium rare. A dry and fruity rosé wine from the Cotes du Rhône region was chosen as our beverage, as it went very well with the whole menu.

The liver mousse was served in an espresso cup.
The internal organs in a dense rabbit broth.

Rabbit liver mousse (8 servings)

  • 200 g rabbit liver
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 dl cream
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 solo garlic
  • 1 dl brandy
  • 50 g butter
  • thyme
  • salt
  • black pepper

Chop the onion and garlic, sauté for a long period of time. Add the brandy and thyme, bring to a boil. Fry the livers, and add to the onion mixture. Put the ingredients in a cutter, add the eggs. Add the butter and cream while the cutter is operating. Season with salt and black pepper, strain through a sieve. Place in cups. Cook in a water bath at 90ºC for 30 minutes, and let cool. Add some caramelized apple cubes on top.

Rabbit ragoût

  • 2 shallots
  • 1 solo garlic
  • 100 g bacon
  • 60 g carrot
  • 60 g celery
  • 200 g rabbit liver
  • 8 rabbit kidneys
  • 4 rabbit hearts
  • 200 g champignon mushrooms
  • 1 l rabbit broth
  • 2 dl sherry
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • chives

Chop the onions, garlic, champignon mushrooms, and bacon. Cut the carrot and celery into cubes. Sauté the onions for a long period of time. Add the sherry and rabbit broth, bring to a boil. Let simmer until there is 3 dl of broth left, add the vegetable cubes. Fry the bacon and mushrooms until they are crispy, then add them to the ragoût. Add the chopped chives, season with salt and black pepper. Cook the liver, hearts, and kidneys quickly in a pan. Season with salt and black pepper, add to the ragoût.

A rabbit fillet is surprisingly large.

Pan-fried rabbit fillets, overcooked rabbit legs and pear


  • 4 rabbit legs, with bones
  • 1 l chicken broth
  • 1 carrot
  • 100 g celery
  • thyme
  • salt
  • black pepper

Fry the rabbit legs in a pan until browned, place in a pot. Cover the legs with chicken broth, add the carrot and celery cubes and thyme. Add the salt and black pepper. Bake in the oven at 120ºC for 4 hours, then remove the meat from the bone and chop slightly. Boil the broth to reduce the liquid, strain through a sieve, and add the meat.

Rabbit fillets

  • 4 fillets for 8 people
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • butter

Remove the silver skin from the fillets. Pan-fry the fillets in butter, season with salt and black pepper. Let rest for 20 minutes.

Pear confit

  • 2 pears
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 200 g butter
  • salt
  • 1 lemon

Peel and quarter the pears, remove the seeds. Place the pears in a pan, add the butter, lemon zest, and honey. Let simmer for 10 minutes, season with salt and lemon juice. As a side dish: roasted broccoli and oven-baked (200ºC, 45 minutes) early potatoes with skins on

Kristian Vuojärvi

This time, Pintxo Magazine's guest chef was the leader of The Culinary Team of Finland, Kristian Vuojärvi. Kristian has worked as a line manager for Rivermax, head chef at Hotel Indigo, and chef at Chez Dominique, for example. These days, Kristian runs a company called KV Restaurants Oy, which owns restaurants Kokkikoulu Espa and Ölvin, as well as the restaurant at Billnäsin Ruukki.

The Culinary Team of Finland aim for the Stuttgart Culinary Olympics, held in February 2020. In 2016, under Kristian's captaincy, the team won gold in the cold table category and became second in the hot kitchen competition, which is the best result Finland has ever achieved in the competition.