Slow-Cooker Maltese Rabbit Stew

Slow-Cooker Maltese Rabbit Stew, or Stuffat Tal-Fenek, is a crockpot version  of t6he National Dish of the Mediterranean country of Malta.

Slow-Cooker Maltese Rabbit Stew

Slow-Cooker Maltese Rabbit Stew

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

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Slow-Cooker Maltese Rabbit Stew is my recipe of the day  with Eat  the World. ETW is a monthly blogging group  where  we  share recipes of global cultures so we  may all enjoy.

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These recipes are prepared to the best of our  abilities  with  the ingredients and methods available to us. And  are made with all due respect and no appropriation intended.

Slow-Cooker Maltese Rabbit Stew

My recipe is the National dish of Malta, a Mediterranean nation with roots in Maghreb cuisine. I  recently  shared a recipe for Libyan chicken and vegetable stew which shares cuisine traits of  this region. It is an interesting mixture of African and Italian cuisine with some others.

Rabbit is a more unusual choice in the United States and one not familiar to most Americans. Oh, Americans know about eating rabbit, but not many have so  there may be a few misconceptions.

True, it tastes like chicken!

Rabbit is quite easy to cook and  tastes quite a lot like chicken, being a mild  light meat. You can also use the liver, although some may be against liver.

This was my first time cooking rabbit liver. It is small and not much, but cooked separate and added at the end. It has a  flavor  not as rich as  foie  gras, but not as low brow as chicken liver either. I sauteed that in butter with salt and pepper only. I must say I really do see why some will make a meal of it in Malta by itself. It’s fab.

Eat the World

Recipes of Malta

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Sneha’s Recipe: Laham Fuq il-Fwar – Maltese Steamed Beef
Pandemonium Noshery: Soppa tal Armla (Widows Stew)
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Stuffat Tal-Qarnita (Octopus Stew)
Palatable Pastime: Slow-Cooker Maltese Rabbit Stew (Stuffat Tal-Fenek)
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Fenkata
Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Brodu Tat-Tigiega (Maltese Chicken Soup)
Kitchen Frau: Baked Rice
Cultureatz: Maltese Pastizzi Pastry

Slow-Cooker Maltese Rabbit Stew

Preparing the Rabbit to Cook

You will have to cut up the rabbit. Which is about as difficult as cutting up a chicken. I doubt yours will come with the head. But if it does and it bothers you, ask the butcher to remove that.

After  that, the legs and arms are sectioned out,  the belly flaps cut off, the center saddle cut into  fourths. And the ribs/back reserved for a little  bit of stock. This is after removing any offal in the belly. No blood and guts stuff here, but you just want to separate the liver out before removing the rest. No more icky than stuff inside a chicken or  turkey, so don’t worry. None of the rest is used.

I have photos below to help show you. And I avoided  showing it whole in regard for those  who are sensitive to the shape.


These are the hind legs removed. You cut  them off the same way you’d cut a drumstick/thigh  off a chicken.

Rabbit hindquarter


This is the center saddle section, cut into four pieces. At this point they might seem like four small country style pork ribs.

Rabbit saddle pieces

Rib and  Back

Next is the rib/back section, which you can reserve to make some rabbit stock for your stew. Or you can skip this and discard, using water. But it won’t taste as nice. And there is a tiny bit of usable meat on there.

Rabbit back/rib section

Discarded Offal

Next are the offal bits with a bit of neck. You can put these in the bin.

Rabbit offal

Front Arms

These are the two front arm sections. Just leave those whole.

Rabbit front legs

Belly Flaps

Then come the belly flaps. They might seem sort of like skin, but are meaty and cook up like thin boneless meat. Keep these and add them to the stew.

Rabbit belly flaps


These  are  bits of liver. Trim away any gristle and cut into a few sections (lobes). Refrigerate for the duration of  cooking. They do not go in to the slow cooker. When the stew is  done you can cook them in a little  butter with salt and pepper, slice and garnish  your stew with it.

Making the Optional Stock

Place  the back/rib section  in a large saucepan. Cover with six cups water,  the rosemary, bay leaves, carrot, onion and celery and simmer gently for one hour. Then  it is strained and the solids discarded. You could simmer longer if  you wish, but I wanted to get this going.

Making  the Stew

The rabbit pieces  (except the liver) are browned and seasoned then placed in the crock with the stock and remaining ingredients and cooked on low for 6-7 hours until the internal rabbit temp  is 165F (like chicken). A slurry is stirred in and the stew cooked on high  until it thickens.

Then as reported earlier, fry the liver in butter for only about a minute (it cooks fast). Then chop  that and add to the finished stew.

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Slow-Cooker Maltese Rabbit Stew

Slow Cooker Maltese Rabbit Stew

Sue Lau
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Stock Prep 1 hr
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Maltan, Mediterranean
Servings 4
Calories 654 kcal


  • 1 large oval slow cooker
  • 1 pair kitchen shears


Rabbit Stock:

  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 rabbit back (from rabbit in recipe)
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery tips and leaves

Meat for Stew:

  • 3 pound dressed rabbit
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic

Vegetables for Stew:

  • 12 ounces new potatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup pimiento stuffed green olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste


  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup cold water

For Liver:

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter


Cut rabbit:

  • Cut off hindleg sections at the hip bone.
  • Remove front arms in a similar fashion to cutting drumsticks off chicken.
  • Cut out liver and set aside. Remove other offal and discard.
  • Trim liver of gristle and cut into small lobes. Refrigerate liver until later.
  • Cut off the skin-like belly flaps on the sides and set aside.
  • Cut away the back/ribs from the saddle and reserve the back for stock.
  • Use kitchen shears to cut the saddle into four equal sections.

Rabbit Stock:

  • Place ingredients into a large saucepan and simmer gently for one hour.
  • Strain before using.

Rabbit Stew:

  • Season meat with salt and black pepper.
  • Brown rabbit pieces in a mixture of butter and oil.
  • Place meat in the slow cooker.
  • Brown the onion and garlic in remaining butter/oil. Add to the crock.
  • Cover meat and onions with the new potatoes, olives, capers, carrots, mushrooms, tomato paste, white wine, marjoram, additional rosemary and strained stock.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours or until the meat has an internal temperature of 165F in the thick part of the hindquarter.
  • Make a slurry with cornstarch and cold water, stirring into stew. Turn cooker on high and heat until stew thickens.
  • Season liver with salt and pepper then saute in butter for about one minute or until firm.


From the kitchen of


Calories: 654kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 79gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 277mgSodium: 1002mgPotassium: 2110mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 5511IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 137mgIron: 13mg
Keyword slow cooker recipes
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Slow-Cooker Maltese Rabbit Stew

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A gentle reminder to be respectful in your comments regarding foods outside of your culture or sphere. Trolling or trashing  the meat type for the sake of trashing rabbit as a food choice will not be published or tolerated.

As always, please be kind. Thanks.

5 responses

  1. I grew up eating rabbit, but have only cooked it in my adult life a couple times. You’ve inspired me to cook it again. Looks like a delicious recipe, and comforting. Thank you.

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