Maltese cuisine is one of the hidden culinary jewels of the world. Prepare a culinary journey through Malta with lips wide open and eyes wide as I blabber on about stuffat tal-fenek.
Maltese archipelago, which includes all its inhabited islands, has absorbed many cultures and cuisines over thousands of years. This has led to its influence on many of the world’s culinary traditions, from the Mediterranean to the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
One of Malta’s most popular dishes is the stew Stuffat, which is also eaten on special occasions. The Maltese have it cooked with rabbit fried in garlic, topped off with plenty of red wine. Delicate rabbit cuts are slow-cooked and are a great accompaniment to stews such as stuffed squid and stevia, as well as other dishes.
Make sure the vegetables are covered with liquid and simmer the stew for half an hour, or until the meat is tender. If you find this read a little tiring, simply book a flight to Malta and enjoy a traditional meal in one of the many restaurants specialising in fenek, or just power through this blog with a glass of wine or beer.
If you decided to book a holiday to malta instead of reading this, the Pastizzeria is a great place to taste the best of both worlds: a traditional Maltese meal and a delicious dessert, it is the Maltese dessert but remember, figolli is only available at Easter.
For those of who are strong enough to power through…
Once you have chosen from the abundance of fillings, it is hard to resist the authentic Maltese flavours. If you spend some time on the internet you can make this cuisine at home, you will be amazed with your special treat.
Basically, cut the rabbit into joints and marinate the joints in the sauce (I like to use red wines). Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat, add the rabbit pieces to the pan and fry until lightly brown on all sides, add them to a plate of spaghetti for a quick dinner.
The traditional version requires a mixture of olive oil, tomato sauce, garlic, salt and pepper, capers, olives and tuna, but who has time for that?
Once the rabbit meat falls slightly off the bone and the root vegetables are tender, the rabbit stew is ready.
Rabbit is not the most popular meat, and most people I know have never eaten rabbits in their lives; this might have something to do with the quality of the rabbit, of course, but many of them are not even interested in trying it out. There are tonnes of rabbit meat recipes, but the fluffy little things seem to have evaded mass consumption.
The amount of natural resources needed for rabbit breeding in terms of food and water is roughly the same as that needed for any other livestock, and no hormones are normally used in rabbit breeding. Rabbits can produce much more protein than a cow or any other animal, but rabbit meat contains more than twice as much protein as an average cow or pig.
If you want a step-by-step guide to slaughtering a rabbit, you should try YouTube university or ask a farmer, what I should say is that you definitely need a sharp knife and patience, but once you have cut the rabbit into pieces, you’ll be one step closer to the perfect rabbit stew.
Stuffat tal-fenek or rabbit stew is a popular dish, especially in the Crete region, so if you want to learn how to prepare a delicious meal using rabbit meat, you have come to wrong right place, I’m a big fan of cooking with rabbit, but I have trouble cooking complicated recipes, so i usually just fry the meat, mix up some veg add a few spices and enjoy.