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sagestrat

Rabbit

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I have never done rabbit, but I would definitely have to have my husband or the butcher cut it up for me first. That's actually why I've never bought one--they look too much like rabbits!!

In a similar vein, however, a couple of years ago my husband and his friend who grew up on a farm slaughtered some of our excess roosters and I could hardly bring myself to cook them, let alone break them down. But I decided that if I couldn't deal with where my food actually comes from, I'd have to go back to being a vegetarian again. I forced myself to make one dish before our freezer died and wasn't discovered for several days. :wacko: I was never so happy to have to clean out the freezer!!!


Julie Layne

"...a good little eater."

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Once any of you feel comfortable in cutting up a dressed rabbit from a freezer package you may want to try this civet of hare.

Note: This discussion may not be for Andi Pena Longmeadow Farm right now... I'd like to see her finished dish! :smile: However, the discussion does delve a bit into how close someone is comfortable in getting with the original meat source.

edited to add: Congrats on forging ahead, Andi Pena!


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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This makes me think of one of the latest "Sopranos" episodes where restaurant owner Artie shoots a rabbit in his yard that was eating the arugula that he smuggled back from Italy as seedlings.  Later on that evening, he prepared the rabbit in the restaurant according to an old family recipe.

In keeping with other advice on the thread,  open a bottle of red, but think Sopranos and cook away!  :laugh:

But remember they cut up Ralphie too.

I have only had rabbit once, years ago. I don't remember much about it but obviously not grossed out about it. We have a ton of them hopping around our neighborhood and munching on our plants. I don't think I have the guts to blast away at one though. I think the neighbors would get nervous.

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bunny ribs, bunny front legs, bunny back.

gallery_43892_2899_1107.jpg

Bunny thighs (do they have thighs?) and loin parts, (Or so I belive!)

gallery_43892_2899_5193.jpg

MizDucky:

Or how about: you're a resident of another planet, where chickens just happen to be flightless and have four legs? laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif (After all, wings are really nothing more than forelegs adapted for flight ... )

Decided on the above approach, thank you~

jsolomon:

Hasenpfeffer - German rabbit stew

Mr. Longmeadow will be dining on your suggestion, thanks!

Funny thing is, on our farm we raise Black Angus, Charolais, and Herefords. Obviously, we don't keep them around (although I would want to) to just play in the daisy filled fields, so you might believe this particular task wouldn't be that big of a deal.

Well, I still feel as though I might not want to do this again :unsure:

As this day progresses, (have to feed steers in barn) come back and check on rabbit, and I am not beemed up by the liquid beverage of the night.....rum and coke? I would be happy to report on left over bones and such of the final installment.

Oh yes, I have never posted or even taken food pics before! Yea! Hope they came out ok.

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You are most certainly welcome. By-the-by, if you ever happen to be in Omaha, Nebraska, look up the Bohemian Cafe. They serve some really quite wonderful hasenpfeffer with some of the most lovely , light dumplings you can imagine.


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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Artichoke, I agree with you almost completely. I made rabbit for the first time last fall (and, on topic, did get a little queasy breaking it down, also.). Didn't see any appreciable difference between it and dark meat chicken, unforunately.

I do think there's got to be some raising issue because when I've had it in Italy it was much richer and more full flavored.

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Although I do eat meat, I have some concerns about the humane treatment of animals that eventually become food. But that's another thread. (Repeat: that's another thread.)

Eating the meat doesn't bother me, but any waste does. If there is sinfulness in eating meat, then it's especially sinful to waste an animal's life by chucking significant parts of it into the trash, uneaten.

Where this leads is this: 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.

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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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