Intro and search for something interesting to make this weekend

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Joined Jan 22, 2011
Hi all, I am new to this site but was referred by a very close friend. We were recently searching for ways to cook wild Canadian goose. Well let me tell you, that turned out quite well thanks to people from this site. So when my nephew gave me some wild rabbit, I of course turned here for advice.

I am looking to make something with wild rabbit this weekend. I have never cooked it before some I need some good advice as well as an interesting recipe to see what I can do with it.

I am thawing it now and hoping to cook it tomorrow. I would like to know if brining it is a good idea as I do not know how old the rabbit was when it was killed, and not sure how tough it will be. Also my partner isn't real fond of the wild/gamey(sp?) taste of the goose or the venison that I eat.

With it being winter, I was possibly thinking a rabbit stew, but I am open to other things too.

Please help.....

Thanks,

Dwight
 
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I've seen lepre alla cacciatore or coniglio alla cacciatore (hunter's hare or hunter's rabbit) which is a sort of stew where the rabbit is first marinated in vinegar and seasonings - garlic, and an herb (thyme or sage), which i understand is to remove the gamey taste. 

In this area around rome, i always see cacciatore mainly with vinegar and herbs.  In other areas they probably use tomato (in the states, a cacciatore is always with tomato, but i never saw it like that here - i suppose it;s a regional question).  Then the rabbit is browned slowly, olives and capers are added, then the marinade and some wine.  It;s cooked slowly.  I once made it when the butcher had the rabbit all set up, cut in pieces and marinating - it was pretty good, even if i'm not a fan of stewed meat.  I hate the gamey taste too - another important thing to remove it is to cook it well. 
 
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Gamey? Rabbit? I've never had a rabbit that tasted gamey, and I've hunted and eatern them from New England to the sagegrass plains.

At any rate, if nothing else, keep in mind that rabbit can be prepared following virtually any chicken recipe. So you can go that route if you like.

Given your criteria and desires, I'd go with Hasenpfeffer, the classic German dish which uses a vinegar-based marinade. Here's one version:

1 large rabbit, divided into serving pieces

Seasoned flour

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tbls flour

Oil for browning (bacon drippings preferred)

for the marinade:

Equal parts wine vinegar and water, enough to cover the rabbit

4 tbls sugar to each cup liquid

1/2 tsp sugar to each cup liquid

4-6 peppercorns

2 liced onions

2 stalks celery

2 sliced carrots

2-3 juniper berries

1 Bay leaf

2-3 whole cloves

Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl or plastic bag, and add the rabbit pieces. Marinate 2 days in the frindge, turning at least twice daily. Drain and dry the rabbit, reserving the marinade.

Dust the rabbit pieces with seasoned flour and brown in oil in a dutch oven. Reduce heat, add reserved marinade and  vegetables, cover and simmer until tender.

Remove rabbit to a wqrm platter and keep warm. Strain the sauce through a sieve, pressing the vegetables through. Blend flour with sour cream and slowly add to the strained sauce, heating just to the simmer point. Do not boil!

Best served with dumplings.
 
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Lucky you to have the opportunity to eat a wild rabbit.  I'm with Siduri, a rabbit stew is delicious, we also make ours with red wine vinegar, white wine, herbs, garlic, and lots lots lots of onions.  Personally I like to add a spoonful of tomato paste, it gives it such a rich deep flavor.  We add peppercorns, bay leaf, and a small dash of cinammon also. 

Brown the rabbit in some olive oil first, then set aside.  Then sautee the onions, garlic and herbs and tomato paste until softened.  Deglaze with the vinegar and wine and then add your rabbit back in.  Let it simmer covered for an hour or until the meat is very tender.

Serve with a loaf of crusty bread.
 
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We have a fantastic stew recipe for rabbit. It's a bit similar to carbonnades, but this recipes needs dried prunes.

Here we go;

- cut the rabbit in small parts. Also to be used; the liver, kidneys and heart!! They are simply delicious.

- sear the rabbit in hot butter/oil mixture until nicely browned. S&P. Remove from the pot.

- lower the fire and sweat chopped onions

- add rabbit again and dust with some flour and let cook for a while more

- add dark beer (Trappist, made in... you know where). Add some water or vealfond too (beer alone could make it a little bitter).

- Add nicely chopped carrot. Facultative; add a tbsp of dark brown soft sugar. Add a few handfulls of dried prunes. Add a sprig of thyme.

- let slowly simmer for an hour or untill the meat is done. 

Delicious with a very humble boiled potatoe (that you can mash on your plate with that glorious sauce) and homemade chunky applesauce.
 
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Now a carbonnade, that's a kind of stew i can go with.  And belgian beer.  mmmm. 
 
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Thank you everyone for your help. You have given me some great ideas to start with. They all sound real good.

/img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif

My stomach is growling as I read.
 
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Never eaten a rabbit before. May I know what is the "gamey" taste? Is it like the taste in the goat, an after taste?
 
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Make this. It is a very simple rabbit cacciatore with creamy polenta. What makes this dish so good is proper technique.



I blogged the details here but I will give you the cliff notes.

Butcher rabbit into legs, saddle and rib section.

Season liberally with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

Brown up in a skillet with some olive oil or better is bacon/pancetta fat

Set rabbit aside

Toss in one sweet onion chopped

Scrape up the pan fond with a wooden paddle

Take onions to almost soft

Deglaze with 2 cups red wine

Bring to simmer then add in a cup or so of chicken stock

Put your rabbit back in along with bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, and tarragon if you have it

Put a lid on but leave cracked

Braise in the oven for 2 hours at about 275F

About 30 minutes before the rabbit is finished, make creamy polenta
 
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I cook a lot of rabbit, both wild and domestic (I raise them and people that hunt on my land give me some of them)

If I think it might be gamey, I soak them overnight in buttermilk, then bread and panfry, like I would fried chicken or turtle.
 
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Granny, could you expand on the idea of  "if I think it might be gamey...."?

What would make you think so?

As noted above, I've eaten both wild and domesticated rabbit all over the country, and have never had any that tasted gamey to me. So I'm curious as to what makes people feel that way.

I realize that "gamey" is in the tastebuds of the beholder. But still.....
 
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KYH, I can't taste gaminess, either, but hubby claims to. I noticed he complained about it more when the raw rabbit was darker or bigger than usual. Those are the ones I soak in buttermilk or make into Hasenpfeffer. If the meat is light-colored, I don't bother soaking.
 
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Aha! So the solution is to not let him in the kitchen until the bunny is cooked. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

Seriously, there's no accounting for it. I have a friend who won't eat venison because she claims it's too gamey. But her favorite meat is leg of lamb. To me, lamb (and, even worse, mutton) defines gaminess. Go figure.
 
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He never goes near the kitchen, but he does the butchering, so it would be kind of hard to hide it unless I did the butchering, which ain't going to happen.

I think I kind of like gaminess. I love both venison and lamb. Heck, who am I kidding? I just like meat! Hard to believe I used to be a vegetarian, isn't it?
 
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Hard to believe I used to be a vegetarian, isn't it?

Who'd a thunk it? Maybe you're just making up for lost time?

I like both venison and lamb too. In fact, I've decided that once my new teeth are ready I'm going to celebrate, like Nero Wolf, by sitting down with a very large platter of very small lamb chops. What I don't understand is somebody who loves lamb, but who thinks venison is gamey.

I once had some venison from a Wisconsin deer that had been feeding on red acorns. That was the strongest I've every tasted. But it still didn't come close to lamb.
 
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    Rabbit is one of the tastier creatures we can eat.  Having just been to Cochon,  I would have to say Rabbit and Dumplins.   This dish, among with many others, was really very good!

       Rabbit & Dumplings by Donald Link

  Dan
 
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You just gave me an idea. I can't find lamb here. On the rare occasion that I can, it's way beyond my budget. I think part of my tax refund is going to buy a small flock and some decent fencing for them. (barbed wire just doesn't work for sheep)

The deer here are grass fed. I grow grass hay and they help themselves. They eat my garden in the summertime, too. They're especially fond of sweet potatoes. I'd rather have venison than sweet potatoes, so I don't mind so much. Also, the neighbor that hunts here (and gives me a deer every year) feeds them corn. It makes good meat, very mild.

BTW, I wasn't a vegetarian by choice. It was medical. Thank goodness I'm over it!
 
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They eat my garden in the summertime, too

I used to tell people that I didn't really like venison; it was just my way of eating parsnips.

I've given up trying to grow them, cuz the deer just eat the tops down to the ground everytime.

Other than highland cattle, which really intrique me, I'm not interested in large livestock. Too much like work. But now that my last dog is gone, and there won't be anothjer, we're thinking about both rabbits and guineas. We'll see how things go this spring.
 
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I finally found a way to confound the deer. I put sticks around my garden, then string video tape around them, like a fence. Something about the video tape repels them. Some say it's the smell or the magnetism, but I think it's because it looks like fire, even at night.

I mostly have small animals - rabbits, guineas, chickens, ducks, but I'm seriously considering sheep, partly for the meat and partly because I love them. I used to raise them, but couldn't make them pay. If I'm just raising them for meat, that would be a different story. I might also get some quail and turkeys. I just have to figure out where to house them.
 
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