Rabbit meat is consumed and produced all over the world and famous in many European communities. Imagine that there were not a lot of butchers around and all that was available was a whole ox.  Would you buy the whole ox and put in your pot?  Or would you cut it into portions and have some for the pan, the oven, the braai and then some for the pot?  Well, the only difference really is that a whole ox doesn’t fit in a pot while a whole rabbit does and there aren’t many butchers around to portion rabbit so that you could cook your favourite portion. Now that rabbit meat is available and in portions, butchers are asking if they can apply some of their skills to lessen the load and we were happy to oblige. This still leaves one with something for the pot and we are going to show you the basics and make sure that the right part ends up in the pot. First just let us look at the protein to be cooked.

Many think that one needs special culinary skills to cook with rabbit and this is simply not true.  If one would apply the above example by understanding that the most suitable part or portion of the rabbit must be used for your cooking application it is actually quite simple.  So lets just forget about the idea of cooking a whole rabbit in a pot for a minute and explore the options, just like with other meat portions.

Rabbit meat responds well to the same cooking methods and safety guidelines employed when preparing poultry. Rabbit meat has a flavour that accepts and augments several seasoning choices. This simply means that you may use rabbit meat in many tried and tested recipes of your own and experience how good they really should taste by substituting the protein with rabbit. The flavour of rabbit meat is what actually draws people to it. Its organoleptic properties are tenderness, and juiciness. It is classified as a bland palate similar to chicken but carries the flavours from herbs and spices extremely well. One would go so far to say that less is more and maximum flavour can be expected from your seasoning choices when cooking with this protein.

It is a white meat and it has been found to provide good health and prevent excess fat, heart diseases, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetics and cancer among those who eat it. The low in fat part effects the way it cooks and one should be careful not to let the meat dry out when cooking it or be careful not to overcook the meat. All meat is less desired when over or incorrectly cooked and it is just a matter of knowing how not to dry the meat out or over cook it.

Rabbit is all white meat and domesticated not wild like many think. Fresh or frozen, rabbit meat is available and please it does not originate from your local pet shop it is a specific breed suitable for prime meat cuts and portions. There are some essentials to understand, soon after you will be hopping along your recipes to pick your favorite.

To summarize:

    • It is easy to cook with rabbit if you use the correct portion along with your cooking method.
    • Rabbit is an all white, healthy meat that carries flavours extremely well.
    • Young and tender meat should be used for everyday cooking.
    • When cooking with rabbit meat one should be careful not to over cook or dry out the meat.
    • The meat is NOT wild or gamy in flavour and can be cooked similar to chicken.