Cooking my first homestead raised meat rabbit

By | March 20, 2016

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My first Homestead raised meat rabbit dinner was wonderful!
I had hoped that I could have cooked the rabbit in my Sun Oven solar cooker, but alas it was cloudy with possible chance of rain. So I took the rabbit into town and used my crockpot/slow cooker at my mom’s house.  She was thankfully out of town because when she called to see if I had checked on her cats (all former feral kittens rescued from my ranch), she found out I was cooking rabbit at her house.  She freaked to put it bluntly.  Shhhh….we won’t tell her about the frozen rabbit hind legs in the back of her freezer.

Initially the butchered rabbit didn’t appear that big.  Smaller than a chicken I thought.  Well I couldn’t get the entire rabbit in the crock pot so I cut off the largest portion of meat, the hind legs, and put them in the freezer.  I then cut off the front legs and the rest of the body was still too big.  I cut the back in half with the back straps in the back and rib section in front.  I almost froze the rib cage to use for stock in the future since there didn’t appear to be much meat there.  Glad I didn’t since they turned out quite well.  I hope my mom doesn’t find the pile of little rib bones in her trash, LOL.

So what was it like?  It tastes like chicken – LOL.  Actually closer to pheasant since I used to cook all the hunted pheasant in the same way.  Depending on my mood I would make “Italian pheasant” by pouring in a can of diced tomatoes flavored with garlic, or “Hawaiian pheasant” with a can of pineapple, “Asian pheasant” with orange juice and chopped up veggies, etc.  I have never claimed to be a good cook, but even I can’t mess up crockpot food, LOL.  I didn’t add any additional cut up veggies last night because I had read that rabbit takes on whatever flavor it is cooked with.  I wanted to get a feel for the rabbit meat texture before further experimentation.  My favorite part was surprisingly the back straps.  They are like flaky white chicken breast.  The front legs are closer to the texture of chicken leg meat.  Not sure what the hind legs will be like, will report back later. (UPDATE:  I cooked up the hind legs and they were like chicken breast meat.  I used the Crock-Pot again but this time instead of Italian diced tomatoes I went with a sweeter theme and added a can of pineapple, cut up red and orange bell peppers, onions, and rice.  It was fantastic and even my mom ate it.)

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Being slow cooked it just fell off the bone.  I can definitely see myself slow cooking the meat to add to “chicken tacos”, casseroles, pulled BBQ sandwiches, salads, etc.  Being one of the healthiest meats, low in fat and cholesterol, no GMOs fed, it will even be better than my free range chickens because I am too cheap to buy organic non-gmo scratch for them.  They don’t get commercial feed often, it is more of a treat, but their chicken scratch does contain corn which is pretty much GMO here in the US.

I will have to revise my idea of rabbit being a small amount of meat that I won’t have to worry about preserving off grid.  It must be some type of optical illusion.  Young rabbits just don’t look that big to me.  My roosters seem about four times their size.  There is no way I can eat an entire rabbit in one or even two meals.  I didn’t even put the rabbit over rice or noodles or anything.   If so, I could stretch that meat to at least 6-8 meals.  Not sure whether it is just more filling because it is nutrient dense??  I have long suspected that with my free range chicken eggs.  I can scramble up a couple free range eggs and be full and satisfied.  When I scramble up a couple store bought eggs I am hungry again an hour later.  Of course if I was a conspiracy theorist, I would say it is because of all the GMOs commercial animals are fed or other manipulations that “Big Food” has caused to get us to over eat their products.  (That is actually fact instead of conspiracy theory, LOL), but I have promised to try and avoid rants here.  So what do you think?  Let me know in the comments below or just share your favorite rabbit cooking method and recipes.

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Author: WMH Cheryl

I am living off-off grid with horses, goats, chickens, meat rabbits, llamas, dogs and too many Feral cats. Learning things the hard way and hoping my mistakes may help you avoid them while we prep for the future with a goal of being self sufficient.

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