Chefs' Recipes

Embla's rabbit rillettes, sage, sprouts and seeds

Rillettes are a French bistro classic. But they're surprisingly simple to prepare at home, too.

By Dave Verheul
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 10
  • Print
"Adding herbs, sprouts and seeds is a great way to lighten rillettes," says Dave Verheul. Start this recipe two days ahead to sprout the mung beans and make the rillettes.


  • 25 gm mung beans (see note)
  • 2½ tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 100 gm butter, diced
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) sage
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 10 thick slices sourdough bread (about 1 loaf)
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil, for drizzling
Rabbit rillettes
  • 1 rabbit (1kg-1.2kg; see note)
  • 400 gm piece of skinless pork belly, cut into 1cm dice
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 fresh bay leaf


  • 1
    Soak mung beans in cold water for 8 hours, then drain, transfer to a jar and cover with muslin held in place by a rubber band. Rinse and drain a couple of times each day until sprouted (1-2 days).
  • 2
    For rillettes, preheat oven to 180°C. Remove legs from rabbit and cut mid-section into three pieces (see note). Arrange rabbit, pork, garlic and bay leaf tightly and evenly in a 2-litre baking dish. Add 300ml water, cover with a lid or tightly with foil and bake until meat can be pulled apart easily (13⁄4-2 hours). Leave uncovered to cool (11⁄2-2 hours). Remove bones, shred meat into a bowl, and add 250ml cooking liquid (discard remaining) and season to taste. Cover and refrigerate to chill (3 hours or overnight).
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 160°C and dry-roast pepitas on an oven tray until golden (10-15 minutes).
  • 4
    Heat butter in a frying pan over high heat, add sage leaves and fry until crisp (2-3 minutes). Drain on paper towels.
  • 5
    Remove rillettes from fridge and leave in a warm place to soften (45 minutes to 1 hour), then stir in parsley, sage, pepitas and sprouts and season to taste.
  • 6
    Heat a barbecue or char-grill pan to high heat. Drizzle bread with oil and grill until charred (1-2 minutes each side).
  • 7
    Serve rillettes with toast.


Sprouted mung beans are available from select health-food shops. You may need to order the rabbit ahead. Your butcher may also be able to prepare the rabbit for you.

  • undefined: Dave Verheul