Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Adding to the Freezer

If it warms up as expected this weekend, it is time to butcher the three young bucks from Ophelia's last litter.  They have been hanging out all winter, earning a reprieve from their date with the Big Freezer because it has been too darn cold to be outside for long.  But the time has come, and I have no more in the freezer, so that means it's time to wish them well and send them on to the great rabbit fields in the afterlife.  It's never a cheery day when its time to butcher, but it's a good day full of thoughtful care and humane harvesting of a home-grown meat source.

Rabbit is such a good meat to eat, it is rich and hearty but really accommodates itself to a wide variety of flavors.  I typically cook mine in the slow cooker/crockpot, and use a braising technique to both add richness and tenderness to the meat.  One of my favorite simple ways to cook rabbit is to pop it into the crockpot with some sliced onion and a can of ginger ale.  It's also great cooked with a bottle of beer and a slosh or two of hot sauce.  And asian-style rabbit (flavored with lemon, ginger, tamari sauce, sweet chile sauce, and sesame oil) is fantastic.  I just made that particular meal the other day, and then added leftover tidbits to a pot of pumpkin curry soup, jazzed up with coconut milk, anzasi beans and a slosh of hot sauce--perfect for a hot lunch during a long work day.

If you haven't tried rabbit, you should give it a go sometime.  The hardest part is wrapping your mind around the whole cuteness factor.  Of course, cows are pretty cute, and I'll bet you eat hamburger?  Its not much different, really, once you take off their pajamas.

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