Braised Rabbit

While I figured rabbit would be something new to most, I didn’t think it would evoke such strong feelings. When I inquired about the availability of rabbit meat on twitter, I was taken aback by the strong negative side of most feelings. However, through the dark cloud of emotions, I discovered that the Italian Centre here in Edmonton, is one of a few local retailers of the friendly bunny.

Originally I didn’t have a plan going in. Sure I’ve eaten rabbit before, but I’ve never actually prepared it myself. What would I do? The internet is full of old school French dishes, but I wanted to go rather minimalistic. What about a southern pulled-rabbit sandwich? Or maybe replace the more common chicken option in a standard Mole sauce with rabbit; so many choices. In the end I kept it simple, by slow cooking the chile and cinnamon rubbed body with onions, carrots and chicken stock.

I wasn’t totally sure about the time, but as I neared the 6 hour mark, I tested the meat and found it to be glorious. It was fall off the bone tender, extremely moist, and best of all, delicious. The cooked down body meant it was quite easy to remove any meat, but brought me to a serious reality check when I realized how small the bones of a rabbit are. With a dinner party to attend, I nervously threw my fish idea out the window, and proceeded to ‘without anyone knowing’ substitute my dish with rabbit. Hoping it would go over, I sealed my lips, grabbed a fresh loaf of sourdough bread, and headed out the door….you’ll have to wait to see how that meal turned out.

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9 thoughts on “Braised Rabbit

  1. I have never braved cooking rabbit myself but the one time I tried it, at The Red Ox Inn, it was one of the yuumiest meals I’ve had.
    I hope the party-goers enjoyed your experiment!

  2. Rabbit is delicious. My sister and her husband used to make a wonderful garlic rabbit years ago (I’ll have to see if she still has the recipe). I’d cook it occasionally if it was more readily available. Didn’t know the Italian Centre carries it – I’ll look for it next time I’m there.

  3. I love rabbit. My wife and I usually have Rabbit Stifado, a Greek stew that uses lots of pearl onions and a tomato sauce. I’ve bought rabbit from the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market and from the Italian Centre, but my funniest experience was purchasing it at T&T. The cashier was ringing through our purchases, got to the rabbit – looked up at us and said “rabbit?”. It had a nice large English label on it, but I think she just wanted to make sure we weren’t making a mistake we’d regret later!

    • Hahaha, I had a similar experience to that Simon when I bought a huge pack of beef heart one day. I didn’t even know T&T sold rabbit; it looks like it might be more common than I originally thought.

  4. Weird,
    I left you a comment – or, so I thought – I wrote my usual lengthy diatribe…and came back to check for any responses… and it didn’t even get posted! I guess I didn’t double check after I hit submit!!! I usually do? Anyway, I think what I said was that I was surprised by the negative feedback you said you got from the twitter community as rabbit is such a common dish in so many parts of the world and when Superstore first opened it used to be carried as regular stock for a few years. I enjoyed cooking it. Yet, I have only eaten it and cooked it less than 10 times in my life. I love the novelty for this part of the world, as it is something that is not so common… but, I thought – not unusual. Anyway – yours looks and sounds absolutely yummy. Ever since I ate what you brought to the Taste Tripping Party, I have full confidence in your ability to work with flavouring meat to bring out the best in it. YUM!
    Valerie

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