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eG Cook-Off #86: Rabbit


David Ross
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Rabbit.png

Rabbits.  Those soft, furry little creatures that have an appetite for lettuce and reproducing.  We’ve come to view rabbits as pets and love to see them at the local fair, yet rabbits in the pot can be quite delicious.

 

As teenagers, we used to go out into the fields around our new suburb after school and hunt for rabbits.  There was plenty of underbrush, grass, and cover for rabbits to hide, so it was going to be challenge to get one of the critters.  I remember starting with little wire snares we tied between branches along what we though was a rabbit trail.  No luck.  As I got older, I graduated to responsibly hunting with a .22 rifle, and was able to bag a few rabbits.

 

My Mother wasn’t a fan, so I had to clean them outside, and cook them with the windows open.  I don’t remember how I prepared the rabbit, but since I don’t remember a delicious dish, my guess is it didn’t taste to good.

white-tailedjackrabbit_01.jpg

I carried my hunt to my Grandmother’s ranch in Prineville in the juniper country of Central Oregon.  The rabbits liked to hang out around the base of the grain elevators for an easy meal of grain and corn that didn’t quite make it into the silo. I bagged a few rabbits back then, and remember walking back to the ranch house with my bounty.  I think my folks and Grandmother were shocked at the sight, and honestly I don’t remember how we cooked them.  Most likely I was the only one dining on rabbit.

 

And then there were the jack rabbits, or wild hare as some call them, that roamed the open fields.  Those long ears give jack rabbits a keen sense of sounds and approaching hunters, and they’re lightning quick so we never brought a jack rabbit back to the kitchen.

 

I turned to my cookbook archives to see if rabbit was once a popular meat in American kitchens.  In “A New Book of Cookery, by Fannie Merrit Farmer, 1921,” there is a recipe for Rabbit a’la Southern.  My Great Grandmother Jennie Pink, who purchased the book new, most likely made this dish or cooked with rabbits harvested in the fields around Twin Falls, Idaho.

A New Book of Cookery.jpeg

Rabbit, and Hare, are common dishes today in Europe.  Jugged Rabbit or Hare, dates back to at least the 14th century and is made by marinating the meat in spices, wine and vinegar. Livrè à la Royale is the epitome of French haute cuisine.  Wild hare is cooked down with a sauce made from the blood and liver.  It is still a dish that is served at Restaurant Paul Bocuse in Lyon. 

 

civet de lapin.jpg

For my first rabbit dish, I’m thinking of turning to an Italian recipe similar to a Chicken Cacciatore. Harvested in the field or purchased in the market, cooked in the pot or roasted over a fire, this is eG Cook-Off #86: Rabbit. 

 

See the Complete eG Cook-Off Index here: https://forums.egullet.org/topic/143994-egullet-recipe-cook-off-index/

 

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I look forward to this as I have not cooked rabbit since the early 80s when it was in every market. I think it was a time when taking French cooking lessons was a thing and fine dining classic French restaurants held sway in Los Angeles. As I recall my first dish was at Valentino (Santa Monica, CA) so Italian but not a hunter's style. A red wine sauce was involved. My first attempt must have been from Volume 1 or 2 of Julia's Mastering the Art of French cooking. I have notes somewhere - a cold dreary day here so hunting is on (for recipes). We never ate rabbit when I was a kid but that was probably for availability related reasons and the fact that dad brought home mostly beef from the plant.

Edited by heidih (log)
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I also am looking forward to this thread.

 

I too used to cook rabbit for my father.

 

80's 90's   I had to get it at a specialty meat market

 

and it was expensive.     I cooked it in a fresh manner w red wine and mustard 

 

its very lean and easy to overcook.

 

this was before SV.    Im guessing it would do well via SV.

 

easier to not overcook and dry it out.

 

wrapped in bacon , SV , then the wrap browned in a hot pan so as not

 

to over cook the rabbit ?

Edited by rotuts (log)
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Love rabbit. Great with a creamy whole grain Dijon mustard sauce.

 

Also some great Sichuan dishes including the popular street food - mala rabbit head!

 

1972937779_malarabbithead.thumb.jpg.738d580a629bb8ddef287213e5766481.jpg

 

Also, I often make lazi rabbit instead of lazi chicken.

 

My local supermarket sells whole roast rabbit, too. 

 

1140816064_roastrabbit.thumb.jpg.35bbdb962d372633628247f3b55db8db.jpg

 

I can get behind this cook-off, but it's 1:30am. I'll be back!

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Thanks for starting this.  I've been wanting to try the pappardelle with rabbit ragù and peaches in Marc Vetri's Mastering Pasta.  Recipe available online in this excerpt from the book.

The farmer who used to bring rabbit to my local farmers market is no longer coming to this market.  I'll ping them via email and see what other markets they sell at. 

Then there's the issue of the peaches.  Hmmmm.  Well, if I get the rabbit, I'm sure I can find something to make with it!

 

Edited to add:  The rabbit people got back to me.  No buns ready for the market for another month or 2 so I'll likely be watching for a bit.

Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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5 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Then there's the issue of the peaches.  Hmmmm.  Well, if I get the rabbit, I'm sure I can find something to make with it!

I've subbed in mango on occasion - similar texture when ripe andand ha that sexy fragrance. Good luck sourcing. 

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13 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

My local supermarket sells whole roast rabbit, too. 

 

Be still my heart!

 

I grew up in Britain and rabbit made a regular appearance on the table. I had an uncle who was a gameskeeper on large estate in Lincolnshire. He would frequently come home with a rabbit or two. His wife would turn them into the most amazing rabbit pies. 
 

In the past I have cooked rabbit but never very successfully.

 

They are not very common here but I know a couple of supermarkets that do carry them in the meat department. They are by no means cheap! 
 

I have never seen rabbit on a restaurant menu but that could be because I am choosing the wrong restaurants (or was before Covid).

 

I shall be happy to follow along as others cook rabbits.

Edited by Anna N
Typo (log)
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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The restaurant I mentioned closed in 2019 after 46 years but this description from their last night caught my attention. Anyone? Her companion receives a special dish of coniglio, rabbit meat rolled and pressed — dark meat on the inside, ringed by white meat — sitting on potato puree and a ring of dark demi-glace. Selvaggio knowingly offered them a glass of Nero di Avola, a Sicilian wine.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

Love rabbit. Great with a creamy whole grain Dijon mustard sauce.

 

Also some great Sichuan dishes including the popular street food - mala rabbit head!

 

1972937779_malarabbithead.thumb.jpg.738d580a629bb8ddef287213e5766481.jpg

 

Also, I often make lazi rabbit instead of lazi chicken.

 

My local supermarket sells whole roast rabbit, too. 

 

1140816064_roastrabbit.thumb.jpg.35bbdb962d372633628247f3b55db8db.jpg

 

I can get behind this cook-off, but it's 1:30am. I'll be back!

 

Wow that is a beautifully burnished bunny. Such a lean meat I'd be worried but I think @Duvel showed us rabbit on a spit with that enticing color. Much to learn.

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37 minutes ago, heidih said:

The restaurant I mentioned closed in 2019 after 46 years but this description from their last night caught my attention. Anyone? Her companion receives a special dish of coniglio, rabbit meat rolled and pressed — dark meat on the inside, ringed by white meat — sitting on potato puree and a ring of dark demi-glace. Selvaggio knowingly offered them a glass of Nero di Avola, a Sicilian wine.

 

 

Not from Valentino, but during a food & wine trip to Italy, we had lunch at Ristorante Guido in Costiglione d'Asti in northern Italy.

The main course sounds quite similar to what you describe:  Galantina di coniglio con fungi porcini.  It was served with a lovely Barolo from Rinaldi, Francesco.

I see from the date on the menu that it was over 20 years ago but I still remember this meal very well.  It was absolutely stellar!

1123413964_IMG_2783(1).thumb.jpeg.8b7e04f5920968b71aa35fe1f00f08af.jpeg

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I am looking very much forward to this ... and coincidentally, my favoured supermarket has rabbit on offer this week 🤗

 

My sister used to have pet rabbits as a kid, so neither her nor my mom eat rabbit. Thus I had my first taste of rabbit in my late twenties on my first visit to a certain small village in northern Spain. Rabbit is a priced food in Catalonia, where my wife hails from. Naturally now, we have it far more often than the average German household.

 

Recent exploits cover spit-roasted rabbit ...

 

16EFE9A6-B3CE-43CA-A6AD-537287B77FF4.thumb.jpeg.1af23c201a806b3aad350f682cf930e5.jpeg

 

Rabbit liver yakitori (right side) ...

 

DBB34218-301D-4883-812A-D825A26A5950.thumb.jpeg.157f1d69f2d13a756996c9898e590fbc.jpeg

 

Flash-fried liver on toast ...

 


... and Catalan style, with garlic and wild mushrooms.

 

 

Not to bore you, I will check out some other dishes to try this week !

 

E42A6BDC-2083-477C-BE7F-A4762AA040D7.thumb.jpeg.317859a228d48c7421edde93aba7f6ad.jpeg

Edited by Duvel (log)
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After growing up on a diet of Looney Tunes I've always intended to make hasenpfeffer one day, but never have. I wonder if Sobeys or Superstore has rabbit...

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Rabbit used to be a common presence on our dinner table, when Daddy hunted them and dressed them. I remember breaded and fried rabbit with gravy and mashed potatoes, and my favorite was always rabbit and dressing. The rabbit was poached to make a stock, and then meat picked from the bones and stirred into a cornbread dressing flavored with black pepper and sage.

 

Probably haven't had rabbit in 40 years. Can't eat wild rabbits any more due to the effects of ag chemicals on them.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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I love rabbit and years ago used to make it once in a while - grilled saddle, poached legs with mustard sauce...  unfortunately, I don't think I'll be in shape for cooking (or walking around too much to get groceries) for a while... but I'll be looking in...

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This prompted a memory of rabbit liver with hot pepper jelly at Cochon in New Orleans. An adjacent diner insisted I try a bite. Served on a toast point. Really nice. Should any rabbit I acquire include the liver I'll do that. I called the local upscale market that will order "odd things" and have to check back tomorrow with manager who is off today. Will check price, provenance, and availability. 

 

My old notes tell me my first rabbit cooked at home was in the style of a lamb navarin. No reference as to source. As I became a more confident cook I do recall doing it in a rich coconut curry served with rice and peas. 

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11 minutes ago, heidih said:

Should any rabbit I acquire include the liver I'll do that.


Here, the rabbit you purchase contain the liver, kidneys and heart (plus the lungs, for which I haven’t found any application yet). The liver is fantastic: very sweet, no metallic (iron) aftertaste ... and it is huge, compared to the size of the animal. One of the perks in the upcoming days will be to have 2-3 livers to eat ...

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4 minutes ago, Duvel said:


Here, the rabbit you purchase contain the liver, kidneys and heart (plus the lungs, for which I haven’t found any application yet). The liver is fantastic: very sweet, no metallic (iron) aftertaste ... and it is huge, compared to the size of the animal. One of the perks in the upcoming days will be to have 2-3 livers to eat ...

I am in the US so minimal appearance as to an actual formerly live animal is played down ;)   They are very odd creatures with a fascinating digestive system - oh and those teeth that never stop growing thus the need to constantly munch.. 

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3 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Love rabbit. Great with a creamy whole grain Dijon mustard sauce.

 

Also some great Sichuan dishes including the popular street food - mala rabbit head!

 

1972937779_malarabbithead.thumb.jpg.738d580a629bb8ddef287213e5766481.jpg

 

Also, I often make lazi rabbit instead of lazi chicken.

 

My local supermarket sells whole roast rabbit, too. 

 

1140816064_roastrabbit.thumb.jpg.35bbdb962d372633628247f3b55db8db.jpg

 

I can get behind this cook-off, but it's 1:30am. I'll be back!

Wow that roasted rabbit looks moist and delicious

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3 hours ago, heidih said:

The restaurant I mentioned closed in 2019 after 46 years but this description from their last night caught my attention. Anyone? Her companion receives a special dish of coniglio, rabbit meat rolled and pressed — dark meat on the inside, ringed by white meat — sitting on potato puree and a ring of dark demi-glace. Selvaggio knowingly offered them a glass of Nero di Avola, a Sicilian wine.

 

 

I dined at Valentino in Las Vegas numerous times.  A friend of mine who is a food writer down there knew the Chef, Luciano Pelligrino and we had wonderful meals.  He was noted for cooking with game, but I only had his quail, no rabbit.  I remember one night when Pierre Selvaggio sat down with us for dinner.  What a grand man for conversation.  I'm sure the rabbit dish you mentioned was delicious.

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2 hours ago, Duvel said:

I am looking very much forward to this ... and coincidentally, my favoured supermarket has rabbit on offer this week 🤗

 

My sister used to have pet rabbits as a kid, so neither her nor my mom eat rabbit. Thus I had my first taste of rabbit in my late twenties on my first visit to a certain small village in northern Spain. Rabbit is a priced food in Catalonia, where my wife hails from. Naturally now, we have it far more often than the average German household.

 

Recent exploits cover spit-roasted rabbit ...

 

16EFE9A6-B3CE-43CA-A6AD-537287B77FF4.thumb.jpeg.1af23c201a806b3aad350f682cf930e5.jpeg

 

Rabbit liver yakitori (right side) ...

 

DBB34218-301D-4883-812A-D825A26A5950.thumb.jpeg.157f1d69f2d13a756996c9898e590fbc.jpeg

 

Flash-fried liver on toast ...

 


... and Catalan style, with garlic and wild mushrooms.

 

 

Not to bore you, I will check out some other dishes to try this week !

 

E42A6BDC-2083-477C-BE7F-A4762AA040D7.thumb.jpeg.317859a228d48c7421edde93aba7f6ad.jpeg

The Yakitori looks and sounds delicious!

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17 minutes ago, David Ross said:

I dined at Valentino in Las Vegas numerous times.  A friend of mine who is a food writer down there knew the Chef, Luciano Pelligrino and we had wonderful meals.  He was noted for cooking with game, but I only had his quail, no rabbit.  I remember one night when Pierre Selvaggio sat down with us for dinner.  What a grand man for conversation.  I'm sure the rabbit dish you mentioned was delicious.

I was 22 years old and still remember  -  says something. We had a usual table in the more quiet room so it was always a lovely experience.  Piero knew romance was in the air so he was sweetly cordial but not chatty. 

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My grandfather grew up as a subsistence hunter in the Tennessee hills, and when he could bring home rabbits his family knew there'd be good eats. I don't know how great-grandmama would have prepared them, though. Stew, possibly? (Once, he brought home squirrels as a desperation measure, and his mother passed them off as rabbit as a little joke between the two of them. Later, neither dared 'fess up to his father!)

 

I have cooked rabbit a few times in my adult life, and enjoyed eating it. I look forward to seeing what comes across these pages for inspiration.

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Rabbit!

 

We haven't had any lately.  The outside cats must be keeping the population down a bit.  I think the last time I made it I posted about it here   I fried it and then pressure cooked it.  That may have been before my intro to SV.  SV would work wonderfully I think.  I don't think I've ever seen it for sale in a store...not even the Asian market.  

 

I don't think I could bring myself to shoot a jack rabbit.  They are too rare around here and I LOVE seeing them.  They are so big and cool looking.

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5 minutes ago, Shelby said:

Rabbit!

 

We haven't had any lately.  The outside cats must be keeping the population down a bit.  I think the last time I made it I posted about it here   I fried it and then pressure cooked it.  That may have been before my intro to SV.  SV would work wonderfully I think.  I don't think I've ever seen it for sale in a store...not even the Asian market.  

 

I don't think I could bring myself to shoot a jack rabbit.  They are too rare around here and I LOVE seeing them.  They are so big and cool looking.

 

When I was growing up, we were strictly forbidden from touching or hunting jackrabbits because of Tularemia. Maybe it isn't as common in your area, but as it happens the disease is named for a town about 25 miles from our erstwhile ranch. The Mayo Clinic web page in my link suggests that other animals can carry it too, so maybe my parents were being overprotective. 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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rabbit.thumb.jpg.057a7ca9092cce335d236735e23405f8.jpg

 

Rabbit was a regular thing for me growing up. It turned up around once a week, although I'm not sure whether it was bought from a butcher or by back door avenues. Probably the latter. It was certainly inexpensive.

 

Much later, I got wild rabbit from Norman, my butcher.

 

Today, I buy it easily in the markets. It is reasonably priced.

 

Here are a couple of favourite treatments.

 

1610891760_LaziRabbit.thumb.jpg.ef1dc2d3358aaf226035cc9b3b47cfab.jpg

Sichuan Lazi Rabbit

 

This is basically Fuchsia Dunlop's recipe for lazi chicken (辣子鸡 - làzi jī) but using rabbit (兔子 - tùzi).

 

2083008260_rabbitwithleeksandcepes.thumb.jpg.c24c925db573cbc9d1b088d17982e68a.jpg

Braised rabbit with leeks and cèpes.

 

2069707055_rabbitandrice.thumb.jpg.b595f934ca4f319b067cff258a0acda8.jpg

Rabbit in a creamy mustard sauce.

 

and finally my mother's rabbit with champ which graced the dinner table many a night.

 

1075668434_rabbitandchamp.thumb.jpg.adba0b014d544513c8ddc3cec9ad0b4c.jpg

 

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