Conejo al palo – Peruvian roast rabbit on a stick

4
1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Whole roast rabbit

  • 1 rabbit, cleaned, left whole
  • 5 sprigs of rosemary
  • salt
  • pepper

Marinade

  • 50ml of olive oil
  • 100ml of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of garlic purée
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Herb paste (or if you can find huacatay, use one large bunch instead of the other herbs)

  • 1/4 bunch of coriander
  • 1/4 bunch of tarragon
  • 1/4 bunch of mint
  • 1/4 bunch of parsley
  • 20ml of red wine vinegar
  • salt

To serve

  • 2 sweet potatoes, baked
  • 2 sweetcorn, barbecued

Method

1
The day before you intend to cook the rabbit, mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl (big enough to hold the rabbit) and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Add the rabbit, massaging the marinade into the flesh. Cover (or put the whole thing, including the marinade, into a large, resealable plastic bag) and marinate in the fridge overnight
2
Remove the rabbit from the fridge 1 hour before you want to cook it, to bring it up to room temperature. Stuff the cavity with rosemary, reserving the marinade for brushing
3
To cook, you have three options: You can cook the rabbit on a spit over a hot charcoal grill or barbecue. In this case, spear the rabbit on a long wooden stick and suspend it about 20cm over the coals. Cook for about 30 minutes, turning and using a pastry brush to baste with the marinade at least every 15 minutes throughout, until the rabbit is cooked through and a combination of lightly browned and slightly charred in places
4
To barbecue the rabbit without the spit, place the rabbit on the grill and cook slowly for about 1 hour, turning and basting as before
5
To oven roast, preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
6
Place the rabbit on a rack over a roasting tin and roast for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes, until cooked through
7
While the rabbit is cooking, make the huacatay paste. Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender with 10ml of water. Blitz until you have a smooth paste. Add a splash more water to loosen, if necessary. Season with salt to taste
8
Serve the rabbit whole for everyone to help themselves, with barbecued corn cobs, halved baked sweet potatoes the huacatay paste drizzled over the top