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eG Cook-Off #86: Rabbit


David Ross
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9 hours ago, liuzhou said:

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

 

Those are wonderful recipes and I like that you mentioned sometimes rabbit can stand in for a chicken dish.  That opens up many possibilities. 

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On 2/1/2021 at 12:07 PM, David Ross said:

 

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.

 

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.

 


Rabbit and Hare are very different creatures on the plate and require very different treatment.   Rabbit is very delicate, Hare not so much.   Never heard of jugged rabbit.  The vinegar and spices would obliterate what makes rabbit special.

 

Hank Shaw has a very nice section on his site for cooking both rabbit and hare.   
 

it’s a great topic.    Eager to see what folks cook up.

 

 

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 through to the met department manager at the upscale market about 3 miles away. He can source it. Orer Wed, arrive Friday. Whole w/o head. $16/lb. Definitely more than the Asian market. Fresh not frozen though.

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5 minutes ago, heidih said:

 through to the met department manager at the upscale market about 3 miles away. He can source it. Orer Wed, arrive Friday. Whole w/o head. $16/lb. Definitely more than the Asian market. Fresh not frozen though.


Rabbit or hare ? With innards ?

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Instead of waiting a couple of months for the farmers market rabbits, I went and bought one today.  Frozen.  $8.99/lb.  They had both whole and cut up at the same price.  The counterman told me the innards come with both so I bought the cut up one. 

 

20 minutes ago, heidih said:

Whole w/o head

 

I asked about innards but didn't think to inquire about the head.  We shall see!

 

 

Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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3 minutes ago, heidih said:

Domestic rabbit. Innards included. 


Great 🥳
 

Rabbit liver, fried in butter to medium and sprinkled with sea salt - ‘nuff said ...

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I lived among a loose farm collective for a year during the late sixties. Rabbit was occasionally  on the menu; I can't remembered if we raised them or shot them. I don't remember any of the group being a particularly memorable cook, but I suspect the rabbit was grilled outdoors. I do remember that rabbit kidneys were generally agreed to be a special treat. I wouldn't be tempted to eat them now. But way back when on a hippie farm....yep. We also had a cow and made our own butter. Maybe the kidneys were pan fried in home churned butter. Okay, I haven't thought about that in a long long time. Rabbit kidneys are not very big.

 

In the less distant past I've had rabbit twice. One time was at an upscale country restaurant in the south of France. I got the leg portion and it was good. My mother was given the "whiter" meat and I thought it was dry.

 

The second time the rabbit was also cooked by a French person, an expat who had run away to marry an American.. This was at a tiny bnb in the middle of nowhere in the NC Smoky Mountains. She was truly an amazing cook. It was delicious, as was everything else she served up for dinner and then breakfast the next morning.  Dinner. along with the rabbit, included radishes from her garden with butter, and a pear tart tatin. 

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Another one of my older cookbooks, The American Women's Cookbook, by Ruth Berolzheimer, 1945.  In the index, go to the rabbit entry and it refers you to the hare recipes. The header for the section is "Rabbits, Hares and Squirrels."  

 

"Avoid wild rabbits.  Buy ONLY domestic rabbits cleaned and dressed.  Rabbit meat is while and delicately flavored throughout.....Neither hares nor rabbits shold be drawn before hanging, as they may become musty.  In Winter, select a dry place for hanging and they may remain for some time."  In other words, that was the method of aging the meat.  You've seen similar scenes in Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey where the game was hung to age.  These are the recipes and instructions-

-Dressing and Trussing

-Roast Hare or Rabbit

-Broiled Hare or Rabbit

-Fried Hare or Rabbit

-Hare or Rabbit "Salmi."  The hare was baked with onion, celery and bay leaf, then brushed with oil and roasted at 350 for 45 minutes.  A gravy was made from the pan juices, then seasoned with olives, capers and Worcestershire sauce.  

-Hare or Rabbit Pie.

-Hare or Rabbit "en Casserole." The footnote to the pie recipe is for Hasenpferrer, which was basically to jub the rabbit in vinetar, water and spices.  Then brown the meat in butter, make a gravy thickened with sour cream.

The American Woman's Cookbook.jpeg

 

A recipe for Roast Squab.  This would have been considered a very good color printing job in the 1940's.  "Domestic pigeons are the most desirable. Wild piegons are likely to be tough."

Vintage Roast Squab.jpeg

 

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I did look in the late 50's Betty Crocker cookbook and this  recipe was the only one. However I found it amusing that the last line invites you to mail Betty Crocker for more rabbit recipes. So they must have tested and published something. 

 

IMG_1556.JPG

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I was just reminded of a favorite dish at the time, a green curried rabbit at Vong, the once fanciful JG Vongerichten Thai restaurant.  The green curry was mild enough to get the sense of the rabbit, but still really tasty, and they put some cubes of the rabbit liver on a stick (sort of like a satay)...  I don't know how I'd feel about it nowadays, as my Thai experience has increased greatly since then, but in those days, we really liked that dish.

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46 minutes ago, David Ross said:

Another one of my older cookbooks, The American Women's Cookbook, by Ruth Berolzheimer, 1945.  In the index, go to the rabbit entry and it refers you to the hare recipes. The header for the section is "Rabbits, Hares and Squirrels."  

 

"Avoid wild rabbits.  Buy ONLY domestic rabbits cleaned and dressed.  Rabbit meat is while and delicately flavored throughout.....Neither hares nor rabbits shold be drawn before hanging, as they may become musty.  In Winter, select a dry place for hanging and they may remain for some time."  In other words, that was the method of aging the meat.  You've seen similar scenes in Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey where the game was hung to age.  These are the recipes and instructions-

-Dressing and Trussing

-Roast Hare or Rabbit

-Broiled Hare or Rabbit

-Fried Hare or Rabbit

-Hare or Rabbit "Salmi."  The hare was baked with onion, celery and bay leaf, then brushed with oil and roasted at 350 for 45 minutes.  A gravy was made from the pan juices, then seasoned with olives, capers and Worcestershire sauce.  

-Hare or Rabbit Pie.

-Hare or Rabbit "en Casserole." The footnote to the pie recipe is for Hasenpferrer, which was basically to jub the rabbit in vinetar, water and spices.  Then brown the meat in butter, make a gravy thickened with sour cream.

The American Woman's Cookbook.jpeg

 

A recipe for Roast Squab.  This would have been considered a very good color printing job in the 1940's.  "Domestic pigeons are the most desirable. Wild piegons are likely to be tough."

Vintage Roast Squab.jpeg

 

 

I have my grandmother's copy of that cookbook, dating from a couple of years earlier (with the extra wartime section of rationing-conscious recipes). The first cookbook I ever cooked from was my mom's edition, which dated from the 50s. Those color illustrations must have been pretty spectacular back in the day, and I remember being fascinated by their odd, exaggerated unreality as a kid.

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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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43 minutes ago, heidih said:

I did look in the late 50's Betty Crocker cookbook and this  recipe was the only one. However I found it amusing that the last line invites you to mail Betty Crocker for more rabbit recipes. So they must have tested and published something. 

 

IMG_1556.JPG

I love the words they wrote in these old cookbooks.  And the days of "send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Box xxx, New York City."

 

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1 minute ago, KennethT said:

I was just reminded of a favorite dish at the time, a green curried rabbit at Vong, the once fanciful JG Vongerichten Thai restaurant.  The green curry was mild enough to get the sense of the rabbit, but still really tasty, and they put some cubes of the rabbit liver on a stick (sort of like a satay)...  I don't know how I'd feel about it nowadays, as my Thai experience has increased greatly since then, but in those days, we really liked that dish.

That sounds delicious and I just might take my own attempt at something similar.  I have a delicious green curry I do with prawns, so it could work with rabbit.  The liver satay sounds delicious.

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4 minutes ago, David Ross said:

That sounds delicious and I just might take my own attempt at something similar.  I have a delicious green curry I do with prawns, so it could work with rabbit.  The liver satay sounds delicious.

The liver was cut into small cubes and probably fried.  It was fantastic.

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3 minutes ago, David Ross said:

That sounds delicious and I just might take my own attempt at something similar.  I have a delicious green curry I do with prawns, so it could work with rabbit.  The liver satay sounds delicious.

Agreed - I like the contrast. Some Euro rabbit recipes blend the liver in the sauce which is fine but I appreciate contrasting textures. Hope someone does. it.

OMG I looked at some of the on line prices. I may have to go with my butcher. Still in contemplation mode. 

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I found this online resource for rabbit with a variety of cuts and the prices aren't as high as say D'artagnan.  Still, online food sources command high shipping prices, but I might indulge if the local market is out of rabbit.  

North Star Bison Farm

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Flicking through Fuchsia Dunlop's Sichuan Cookery (UK) / Land of Plenty (North America), looking for something unrelated, I came across these, which I have made in the past, but had forgotten. Sorry, no pictures.

 

花仁拌兔丁 (huā rén bàn tù dīng) - Rabbit with peanuts in hot sauce.

 

Basically cubed rabbit meat with black  fermented beans and doubanjiang (Sichuan broadbean chili sauce). Served as a snack or appetiser.

 

冰糖兔子 芦 (bīng táng tù zi) - Rabbit with  rock sugar.

 

Despite having no trace of a sweet tooth, I quite like this appetizer.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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A little late to the party, my apologies :)

 

Does anyone do rabbit low-temp? The problem I've had with it is incurable dryness, so I've all but given up.

 

Hare, on the other hand, is magical. And pungent. When I worked at Pignol, they'd hang and cook a dozen hares around October or November - in a 300m² site with partitions and industrial air conditioning, you could still smell hare everywhere.

 

A couple of times, as a project, I've made Lièvre à la royale. It's a beast of a dish, and wonderful to eat when done well. It does take a good four days to fully prep though, and requires some slightly specialised ingredients and equipment. Has anyone else tried it? Here's my first (worse) effort:

 

697052834_Slicedhare1.thumb.jpg.c70b370d9e1c7505a3e843ad27f6ed56.jpg

135406915_LivrelaRoyale.thumb.jpg.4c4c38c2fc34fc01feb109d06607105a.jpg

 

I'd love to make it again, but it'll be challenging to get a dozen people around the table for some time.

Edited by jmacnaughtan
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Near Liuzhou, where I live, is the county of Lipu, which is known for the quality of its wild hares. Several years back, my sister in law had a visit from an old classmate who brought her such a beast.

 

Now, S-I-L was quite simply the best cook I have ever met. Totally self taught but sublime. She brought the magic out of anything she cared to prepare.

 

Anyway, that hare was probably the best dish I've ever eaten. It tasted Sichuanese, but with Indian curry notes alongside Vietnamese freshness. But British gaminess shone through, too. I could have sworn there was some Dijon mustard in there, but know there wasn't. My descriptive powers fail me.

Sadly, just short of her 40th birthday, after cooking lunch for herself and mother, she went for her usual siesta and never woke up - complications from untreated diabetes. I saw her the day before in the market and had no idea she was even ill. Even now, three years later, I look out for her in the market then remember.

 

Of course, I never got her recipe, and she would never have given it to me anyway. She was one of those "get out of my kitchen" cooks and would never explain anything. She did, however, once do me the great honour of asking me to cook one dish because I "do it better".  I haven't made it since she departed.

 

Two great losses! A wonderful S-I-L and a hare recipe! She wouldn't find that pairing at all disrespectful. She'd be more concerned about the hare! Miss her hugely.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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3 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Near Liuzhou, where I live, is the county of Lipu, which is known for the quality of its wild hares. Several years back, my sister in law had a visit from an old classmate who brought her such a beast.

 

Now, S-I-L was quite simply the best cook I have ever met. Totally self taught but sublime. She brought the magic out of anything she cared to prepare.

 

Anyway, that hare was probably the best dish I've ever eaten. It tasted Sichuanese, but with Indian curry notes alongside Vietnamese freshness. But British gaminess shone through, too. I could have sworn there was some Dijon mustard in there, but know there wasn't. My descriptive powers fail me.

Sadly, just short of her 40th birthday, after cooking lunch for herself and mother, she went for her usual siesta and never woke up - complications from untreated diabetes. I saw her the day before in the market and had no idea she was even ill. Even now, three years later, I look out for her in the market then remember.

 

Of course, I never gor her recipe, and she would never have given it to me anyway. She was one of those "get out of my kitchen" cooks and would never explain anything. She did however, once do me the great honour of asking me to cook one dish because I "do it better".  I haven't made it since she departed.

 

Two great losses! A wonderful S-I-L and a hare recipe! She wouldn't find that pairing at all disrespectful. She'd be more concerned about the hare! Miss her hugely.

We don't have a button to respond to this. I loved the story but am saddened to hear about your loss.

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7 hours ago, jmacnaughtan said:

A little late to the party, my apologies :)

 

Does anyone do rabbit low-temp? The problem I've had with it is incurable dryness, so I've all but given up.

 

Hare, on the other hand, is magical. And pungent. When I worked at Pignol, they'd hang and cook a dozen hares around October or November - in a 300m² site with partitions and industrial air conditioning, you could still smell hare everywhere.

 

A couple of times, as a project, I've made Lièvre à la royale. It's a beast of a dish, and wonderful to eat when done well. It does take a good four days to fully prep though, and requires some slightly specialised ingredients and equipment. Has anyone else tried it? Here's my first (worse) effort:

 

697052834_Slicedhare1.thumb.jpg.c70b370d9e1c7505a3e843ad27f6ed56.jpg

135406915_LivrelaRoyale.thumb.jpg.4c4c38c2fc34fc01feb109d06607105a.jpg

 

I'd love to make it again, but it'll be challenging to get a dozen people around the table for some time.

that looks delicious and I can almost taste the liver and sauce through the photo

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