Cooking Methods

canstockphoto2019938Lets look at the safe cooking methods prescribed by the USDA for rabbit meat. “When roasting rabbit parts, set the oven temperature no lower than 163 °C. A 1 kilogram, cut-up rabbit should take approximately 1 hour to cook.  A whole, 1 to 1.5 kilogram rabbit should take about 1 to 1.5 hours to roast. Stuffing it will add approximately a half hour to the cooking time.  Braising rabbit (cooking it in a small amount of liquid in a covered pan on the range or in the oven) also takes about 1 hour. Rabbit can be broiled about 15 minutes on each side.  For safety, USDA recommends cooking rabbit to an internal temperature of at least 72 °C. It is safe to cook frozen rabbit in the oven or on the range or grill without defrosting it first, although the cooking time maybe about 50% longer. Do not cook frozen rabbit in a slow cooker, thaw first. Cut whole rabbits into smaller pieces so heat can penetrate the meat more quickly.”

Taken above into account we add the difference between a safely cooked meal and a gourmet meal, safety goes without saying.

What is not obvious to all is revealed.  The correct part of the rabbit must be cooked for the correct length of time with the most suitable cooking method.  Just like other meat the different parts of the rabbit responds differently to different cooking methods.  In simple words, some part are tender and some part less tender.  Unfortunately most rabbits can fit in a pot and by the looks of the preferred way of cooking rabbit around the world. We must also add that a hunted rabbit would have normally been a big or older rabbit and possible a hare not a rabbit and due to its age only suitable for the pot. Unfortunately this only allows us to make stews or use complicated cooking techniques that the everyday cook don’t have the knowledge of or equipment for. We must say one would expect just a little more than a stew when consuming rabbit meat as a delicacy.  So the key is simple and it is to use the correct portion or cut of A grade rabbit with an appropriate cooking method.

Now it becomes fun cooking with rabbit because you can use your favourite way of cooking and decide whether you want to make a roast, have a braai, do a flame grill or a char grill, make a potjie or a casserole dish, stir-fry or a lasagna.  Yes and all of your favourite recipes can now be experienced with rabbit meat.

To combine the understanding of cooking with rabbit meat one also needs to have a good look at the different sections of the rabbit.  This will make cooking with rabbit meat a breeze and looking back makes one wonder what all the fuss or should we rather say fur was all about.