Rabbit leg sous-vide with rosemary

“Rabbit sous vide” or variations of that are by far the most popular search term for people finding my blog through Google. Since I had only posted about rabbit sous-vide once and that was with a tomato sauce, I thought it would be nice to post about rabbit sous-vide without sauce as well. This is even easier to make, and still has all the advantages of sous-vide cooking: tender and moist rabbit instead of tough and dry.

The preparation is extremely simple. Season each rabbit leg with salt and freshly ground black pepper and insert it into a pouch. Rub with about half a tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary on all sides while it is in the pouch (this is easier than to try to get the rabbit with the rosemary on it into the pouch). Seal and cook for 2 hours at 60C/140F.

When the rabbit is cooked sous-vide, take it out of the pouch, dust lightly with flour and sear quickly in hot olive oil. That’s all, and it’s wonderful!

Great with peperonata. For a wine pairing, I would suggest a very light dry Italian white such as Arneis. If you like retsina (the Greek wine with resin, I don’t like it) then that is a good match too because the resin pairs well with the rosemary. The only time I though retsina was barely drinkable was when I had it in Greece with rabbit stewed in rosemary.

The same preparation would of course also work with another herb or without herbs, but rosemary and rabbit go very well together.

9 thoughts on “Rabbit leg sous-vide with rosemary

  1. I made this–one of our first experiments with sous vide–and it came out much too soft in texture. My husband, who complained the last time about rabbit being too tough and dry, wouldn’t eat it.


    1. You could try using a shorter time, about 2 hours. The first two hours of cooking are needed to get the rabbit up to temperature. Additional time is to make it more tender. With sous-vide it sometimes happens that the meat is not as tough as in the recipe and becomes mushy by cooking too long. For me it has happened with very young lamb. Perhaps your rabbit was a bit young and was already very tender. Good luck with your next experiments!


  2. Hi. Also remember that a shop bought, farmed rabbit is a much more delicate beast than the wild rabbit. I cooked wild rabbit for 3 hrs this way and it was good.


  3. Followed the time and temp instructions here to the letter. Patted dry and dusted with flour then seared in olive oil/butter. The legs were gorgeous, but sadly they were paste-like in texture. Lacked the slightly stringy, chewy mouthfeel of a nicely braised leg. Pretty much inedible. I’ve also had trouble with duck breast with SV method. Texture was weird. I think this method is not suited to game meats.


    1. Hi Dave, sorry to hear the rabbit turned out overcooked. This has happened once to me, too. Unfortunately, the age and source of the rabbit appear to make a difference in the cooking time required. To avoid the paste-like texture, you could reduce the cooking to 2 hours. If you want it to be flaky, you could also try 66C/150F for 1 hour. With duck breast I’ve always had great results. What time and temperature did you use for that?


    2. Hi Dave, your comment nudged me to do some more testing, and I concluded that 2 hours is enough to make the rabbit tender while avoiding the paste-like texture. I hope you’ll try it again.


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