Conejo al Palo

Conejo al Palo

David Loftus

Whole Roast Rabbit on a Stick. Drive northwards out of Cusco, pass through the famous market town of Pisac and head towards the beautiful Urubamba Valley. There are many places to eat along the way, but the town of Lamay is the most interesting, as that’s where you can find barbecue guinea pig on a stick. In this recipe I’m using rabbit, as the flavour is just as delicious, and the meat is similar but more accessible.


Quantity Ingredient
1 rabbit, cleaned, left whole
a few rosemary sprigs
2 barbecued corn-on-the-cobs, halved, to serve
2 sweet potatoes, baked, to serve
3 tablespoons Coliflor a la Brasa, huacatay herb paste, to serve
freshly ground black pepper

For the marinade

Quantity Ingredient
50ml olive oil
100ml white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons garlic puree
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


  1. On the day before you intend to cook, 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, sealable 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, and stuff the cavity with rosemary. Reserve the marinade.
  3. To cook, you have three options:
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. To oven roast, preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the rabbit on a rack over a roasting tin and roast for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes, until cooked through.
  7. Serve the rabbit whole for everyone to help themselves, with barbecued corn cobs, halved baked sweet potatoes and a drizzle of huacatay paste.
Martin Morales
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