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sagestrat

Cooking with Rabbit

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If you've already got a killed, skinned, gutted animal in front of you, whatever kind it is, your role is not to grieve for it, but to honor it by cooking it as well as you can, and eating all of it.

Agreed, jgm. This is why we raise our animals for consumption of the best for the best taste.

My rabbit adventure, learning, escapade, is now completed.

The rabbit was devoured completely and resolutely by Mr. Longmeadow. I have a final semblance of this nourishment to post later tonight or tomorrow. (This depends of course on battery for the camera!)

Thank you all for assisting me, being my cheering squad (as it were) to make this absolutely magnificant dish.

I hope to add to eGullet as much as everyone of you.

A

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Asking me to cheer is like asking my old German Shepherd to watch a pan of brownies.

You would be amazed what that dog would lick away. I could have sworn I had that pan far enough back.


Edited by jsolomon (log)

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Asking me to cheer
jsolomon..

I am sorry Dave, for some non responsive reason, that made me giggle.

Well, I would never laugh at a old dog, licking brownies, but your response gave me reflection as this "old dog" gets a good night sleep.

:hmmm: To keep to topic, not sure I can express how I feel about breaking the legs off a nice rabbit that fed my husband, (father too!).

But again, thanks.

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A roommate from long ago said she could not eat rabbit because it reminded her too much of a cat. I held onto those words, though I ate a rabbit dish at Gramercy Tavern in NYC that was absolutely wonderful.

This could be the funniest thing I ever read, and it has to do with, what else? eatting rabbits.

www.devilbunnies.org/text/bunny-burgers

Sorry that I am a computer illiterate. I don't know how to create a link, but do check this out.

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As it so happens, I also just cooked a rabbit for the first time.

Here is the uncut rabbit

gallery_27988_2906_605927.jpg

Cutting it up was pretty easy, although there is some trimming. As you can see, the kidneys were still encased in fat:

gallery_27988_2906_368425.jpg

After trimming and removing the legs:

gallery_27988_2906_370073.jpg

Final cut:

gallery_27988_2906_26552.jpg

I braised the rabbit with orange, white wine, tomato sauce, mushrooms, dried chiles, onions and rosemary (A recipe in Mario Batali's Simple Italian food).

gallery_27988_2906_875200.jpg

gallery_27988_2906_3743.jpg


Edited by Mallet (log)

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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I have never been partial to rabbit. There is just some thing about finding a "hare in my food". (insert rim shot here)

besides Fuss will not even allow me to cook lobsters in the house--I have to take them out side and set up my propane rig there--I can not imagine how she would feel if I brought a rabbit home for dinner. I know she would not eat it.


in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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And so the sunset ends on this cowgirl's adventure in rabbit. Can't say I would do it again, but am so glad I tried.

Funny, there is not much to a rabbit after cooking one. I can see where you might need two to feed two or more folks around the supper table.

gallery_43892_2899_15298.jpg

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Mallet:

As it so happens, I also just cooked a rabbit for the first time.

Wow, that is a magnificant cutting job! Clearly, you are very good with a knife.

:biggrin:

Looks huge compared to my snaggly lit' rabbit.

You said this was the your first rabbit being cooked, was wondering (relating to my original post) did you have a hard time making that first "wack"?

I marinated mine for a day, thus not having to actually "smell" the rabbit - I don't think it had much of a smell, but I wanted to at least make sure it didn't seem anymore like a cat/rabbit then my imagination was already leading me to believe.

Would you cook one again?

As I stated upthread, we have cattle, and although we don't butcher our own, we (my family) take a quarter every 6-8 months.. I do a fair amount of carving, cutting, boning, etc of the cow that was once outside on the hill.

As I get older, I find that I have a more difficult time participating in this event.

Has anyone else felt this way about cutting/trimming meat that bears a resemblance to a fuzzy creature, or chicken, sheep....etc/

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Wow, that is a magnificant cutting job! Clearly, you are very good with a knife.

:biggrin:

Looks huge compared to my snaggly lit' rabbit.

Thanks, I do what I can :smile: . It was a pretty big rabbit (I think), roughly 3lbs.

You said this was the your first rabbit being cooked, was wondering (relating to my original post) did you have a hard time making that first "wack"?

I marinated mine for a day, thus not having to actually "smell" the rabbit - I don't think it had much of a smell, but I wanted to at least make sure it didn't seem anymore like a cat/rabbit then my imagination was already leading me to believe.

I actually thought butchering a rabbit was very instructive. Because I'm thankfully not in a situation where I see a lot of carcasses, handling a small vertebrate finally let me see exactly where most meat cuts are located, except in miniature. I already knew most of it before hand, but I just thought it was really cool to see the rib turn into the t-bone and then the saddle. I can't say it really bothered me at all.

Would you cook one again?

Seeing as there is another one in my freezer, I don't think I have a choice :raz: ! For roughly the same price as a free-range chicken of the same weight, I would say I could buy some more. Being domestic, the taste is pretty mild but I think it's different enough from chicken to make a nice change every once in a while.

As I stated upthread, we have cattle, and although we don't butcher our own, we (my family) take a quarter every 6-8 months.. I do a fair amount of carving, cutting, boning, etc of the cow that was once outside on the hill.

As I get older, I find that I have a more difficult time participating in this event.

I could see how this would happen (and I emphasize completely), but would you really rather have supermarket beef? Try to take comfort in the knowledge that your cattle probably led very peaceful and contented lives, which is more than most can say...


Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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Mallet:
As it so happens, I also just cooked a rabbit for the first time.

Would you cook one again?

As I stated upthread, we have cattle, and although we don't butcher our own, we (my family) take a quarter every 6-8 months.. I do a fair amount of carving, cutting, boning, etc of the cow that was once outside on the hill.

As I get older, I find that I have a more difficult time participating in this event.

Has anyone else felt this way about cutting/trimming meat that bears a resemblance to a fuzzy creature, or chicken, sheep....etc/

OK: I'm sticking my neck waaay out here.

I'm really curious, I don't intend to offend.

To the OP (or anyone else):

Like I asked semi-facetiously before, if cutting/trimming rabbits

or other animals is so disturbing, and if others on the list are

advising you to steel yourself for the task by pretending it's something

else, why *are* you doing it?

Why is not doing it not an option (sorry for convoluted sentence)?

There's no shortage of other things to feast abundantly on?

Milagai

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gallery_43892_2899_171242.jpg

Poor bunnie.

After running early this morning, I was determined to use many of the suggestions included above, had a V&T last night, thought "chicken, chicken, chicken" when I came in, got my large meat cleaver and got em'.

Will post more pics later.

ETA: 1) Oh my. Eeerie green belly button thing is fresh basil.

        2) Just as weird parallel between fresh fruit, roma tomato and lime to bunnie.

OOOOOOOhhh, Andi. I have eaten and enjoyed rabbit before. I totally agree with those who say that we should realize that 'meat' means animal and that it doesn't magically appear nicely wrapped up in plastic wrap in the grocery store. Having said all that (and meant it), that bunny gives me the shivers a bit :unsure: . I think that Banshee (my little girl kitty) would look just like that all 'undressed'. But I'll bet it was good.

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Mallet:
As it so happens, I also just cooked a rabbit for the first time.

Would you cook one again?

As I stated upthread, we have cattle, and although we don't butcher our own, we (my family) take a quarter every 6-8 months.. I do a fair amount of carving, cutting, boning, etc of the cow that was once outside on the hill.

As I get older, I find that I have a more difficult time participating in this event.

Has anyone else felt this way about cutting/trimming meat that bears a resemblance to a fuzzy creature, or chicken, sheep....etc/

OK: I'm sticking my neck waaay out here.

I'm really curious, I don't intend to offend.

To the OP (or anyone else):

Like I asked semi-facetiously before, if cutting/trimming rabbits

or other animals is so disturbing, and if others on the list are

advising you to steel yourself for the task by pretending it's something

else, why *are* you doing it?

Why is not doing it not an option (sorry for convoluted sentence)?

There's no shortage of other things to feast abundantly on?

Milagai

Hey I appreciate your thoughtful and reflective questions, Milagai.

That being said, it gave me pause to reflect on why I do/cook/prepare/etc..on substance's that I don't necessarly eat, digest, or even want to view in a raw nature.

Growing up on a farm, 4-H, cooking and being part of the whole farm project has taught me to always try "new" and diverse food supplies. Unfortunately, I do have a pretty sensitive side when it comes to fuzzy warm animals.

I do this because my first love is cooking and preparing the best food I can for my family. (Most especially for my husband).

I guess this is a good question for all........do we cook, educate ourselves in "food" even though some of the food might be something that would make us queasy, retching, you get the idea.

Thanks!

we and us don't belong is the same sentence....


Edited by Andi Pena Longmeadow Farm (log)

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I had thoroughly enjoyed rabbit the few times I've had it and once described it to a friend as tasting like "a chicken with dignity."

Lately I've been noticing a bumper crop of bunnies scuttling about, so I just might have to wander the woods this fall in search of a few.

Dad often tells of a cold winter he spent in college, with little but a pot of perpetual soup on the woodstove to nourish him and his crew. Low on veggies? Add some canned tomatoes. Low on meaty bites? Go shoot a rabbit, skin it, gut it, cut it up and add it to the soup.

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How I wish Andi Pena Longmeadow Farm had sent me a PM when she was having some trouble.

When an animal is on my cutting board, I don't waste my time harking back into the past, not my childhood pet or story books, nor do I bother to think up narratives of any sentient mind activity of the creature may have had in its brief life.

What I do is toss myself headlong into the future - This brings me to see what this creature on my cutting board is : parts. Lovely meaty juicy sauce laden parts just waiting for me to cook them and serve them, nurture and nourish my loved ones with, and hopefully, if I've done justice to a dish, expand the depth of my appreciation for.

Carving an animal for cooking is a noble act. When you do it yourself, there is something in the truth of food that is uncovered. Since I have learned to seek out really fresh poultry and game, thus in many circumstances carving it myself, I have noticed that I take a moment as I begin in the kitchen to remember that this animal's life was extinguished in order to nourish humankind. I give thanks for that now more than I ever did. Maybe that is strange.

Milagai's comment in a question above deserves some attention. Andi Pena Longmeadow Farm did have a valid point in starting this thread. We might go as far as to say that half the thrill of discovering a new kind of food are the barriers within us that we cross along the way to full appreciation of them. Sometimes the barriers are in your mind, like the rabbit carving, but sometimes they are educational, technical, involve learning about a culture, a mind set, any number of things. We set our own, and we cross them, and we feel enriched in doing so.

I say bravo to Andi Pena Longmeadow Farm for examining her own barriers to carving rabbit, working through that, and sharing it here. And by all means, if you want to try out cooking rabbit but are a bit nervous about it, please don't pass it over just because of that. Everybody had a first time. Don't let that discourage you from preparing a lapin a la moutarde, because, I am telling you, it is something you do not want to miss.

- And Mallet, that is one super looking pictorial. Bravo.

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While shopping for groceries today I was feeling a bit reckless, there was a trace of swagger in the way I pushed the cart with my two melon-eating kids facing me.

And then I saw something unusual - a 2 kg (4.5 lb) organic rabbit, all wrapped up in plastic without any fur or innards. And it was half price (around four bucks, that sealed the deal) so I scooped up the juicy pink carcass and brought it home.

Now I need to come up with a meal plan in the next 48 hours (according to the label) or it must be sent to the scary freezer in the cellar. Around here the strategy seems be to be "make a pie" which sounds okay, but surely there are other ways to elevate this creature to something a little more special. I don't want my rodent to freeze!

Over the years I have eaten and/or seen a few nice rabbit dishes featuring things like olives or prunes, but as best as I can remember I have never cooked one.

I'm looking for ideas. . . time is running out.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Last time I had rabbit, and it was exceptionally good, was done Brazilian barbecue style. Basted with some kind of fat, seasoned with coarse salt and pepper, and rotisseried, till it was crisp. AWESOME. It was served with black beans, rice, potato salad, and green salad.

I have no clue how one would pull that off, though, but just the memory of it makes me swoon.

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The best rabbit dish I've ever cooked was from "Frank Stitt's Southern Table" -

Red Wine-Braised Rabbit with Wild Mushrooms - and served with his recipe for Spoonbread.

It's not the easiest or faster - but man oh man how very good.

If you don't know what spoonbread is, think of it as a bit of a cross between creamy polenta, cornbread and custard. - I haven't ever made creamy polenta since I discovered this Spoonbread recipe because it's better and easier to make (and sits awesomely under any braised meat).

I must say the Zuni Cafe Cookbook has some interesting ideas for rabbit, but I haven't tried them yet.

I hope you have a library with good cookbooks so you can check these great books out.

But since Italian recipes will almost always permit you to use a chicken in place of the rabbit in some braised dish - I guess you could try any chicken braise recipe as well. Though it'll taste a little different.

I'm not saying you must braise it - Zuni has a treatment for sitting it on rock salt for a while, then frying it. I just haven't tried it yet.

Nancy

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This brings to mind one day, many years ago, when I asked my children (then about 4 and 7) what we could make for dinner on Easter. They responded "roast rabbit", not thinking at ALL about Mr. E.B. An acquaintance of ours had a rabbit farm, and so we had access to WON. DER. FUL. fresh rabbit. I haven't made this dish in over a dozen years (kids are now graduated). But I recall: in a clay roasting pan, one cut up rabbit, two coarsely chopped onions, a few carrots (ironic), some celery, maybe a turnip, a 1/2 cup of white wine? Baked, covered, at 325-350 for about 2 hrs. Easy, to be sure. Not incredibly elegant, but tasty. And not too fancy or rich for little children. We probably served w/ rice and a salad, and more steamed vegetables.


Karen Dar Woon

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It has been a long time but my most successful attempt was a 2 prong attack. I found the loin (saddle?) to be really white meaty like chicken breast so I did that browned, glazed with something spicy and flavorful and roasted but with a little liquid around to give steam. The leggy "darker meat" parts I did like coq au vin- very tasty.

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The best rabbit I've ever had was a braised rabbit on pappardelle pasta I had at The Girl and The Fig in Sonoma. I think the sauce was a little mustardy and a little garlicky. I think there was also a bit of pork smokiness from some bacon lardons. So good!

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if its a whole rabbit the toughest part is cutting it up... after that its easy.

dredge the pieces (figure on 8 pieces or so from one whole rabbit, how you portion them isnt important so long as they are roughly similar size) in flour and saute briefly in olice oil to brown.

take them out and saute a whole mess of onions and mushrooms (try for flavorful ones, like porcinis, dried if fresh arent available)

put the rabbit pieces back in, cover with a bottle of red wine (you can add a glass of port or sherry for a stickier flavor, but you dont have to)

add water to cover if the wine isnt enough, and add your choice of herbs (i use thyme, rosemary and marjoram, plus a couple of chili peppers for a little residual heat)

simmer covered till the rabbit is tender (1 to 2 hours depending on size)

toss in a little cream to thicken the sauce if you want, then serve with good crusty bread to sop up the gravy.

damn, im gonna have to find some rabbit to cook now.... good luck!

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Similar to what maher does, my favorite way of cooking rabbit is in mustard sauce. Slather the rabbit with Dijon mustard & refrigerate a couple of hours, then blot off the excess mustard, flour and brown the pieces (I use butter and oil). Remove while sauteeing mushrooms (and onions or leeks, if desired). Return the rabbit to the pan, add wine (I usually use white for this), chicken stock, and herbs. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, covered, until the rabbit is cooked. Thicken the sauce with a little cream or creme fraiche at the end. Delicious!

The same basic recipe, cooked with more liquid, also makes a wonderful soup. Remove the rabbit when it's done and shred the meat, discarding the bones. You can add rice or wild rice to this while it's cooking.


SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Or lapin à la dijonnaise. Slather the rabbit (whole) with mustard and put in a baking dish. Bake for an hour. Afterward, scrape off the mustard into the juices in the pan, add a big dollop of crème fraîche, and reheat, stirring and scraping.

As far as the loin/saddle goes - it's not really equivalent to white meat chicken, since it is the fattiest part of the rabbit. Much fattier (and tastier) than the legs, though with lots of treacherous little bones...

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Lucy (bleudauvergne) has done wonderful things with rabbit- clicky


Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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You could always make a terrine with it - bone the rabbit, mix in a processor with sausage meat, then add whole hazelnuts, juniper berries and herbs. Put it in a bain marie for about 90 mins at 180C

While it's cooking (and cooling down) you could also use the bones to make rabbit stock.

Another favourite recipe of mine is to bone the rabbit keeping the flesh in one piece (quite tricky). Then lay an omelette and herbs on top, roll it up and tie. Use the bones to make a stock and braise the meat in this for about 2 hours (I think). To serve, slice the meat and reveal the yellow omelette spiralling through :smile:

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