You don’t have to be a big-game hunter to enjoy wild meat. As a youngster, back in the 1930s and ’40s, I looked forward to a dish of rabbit. Basically, we got our cottontails with the use of a ferrite, but by age 13 we had also been trained to hunt with a .22-calibre rifle. I would say there are as many ways to cook rabbits as there are all other game recipes combined.

Rabbits and hares

Rabbits, along with their larger counterparts, hares, should not be passed up for a tasty meal. Back in the 1930s, during the Depression, rabbit was popular at the dinner table. In the wild, the rabbit is hunted by every predator imaginable, including humans. Despite their high mortality rate, the rabbit survives. Actually, rabbits breed before they are a year old and mate before their newborns are even a day old. It has been recorded that rabbits may have 4 to 5 litters a year.

Caution about rabbits …

Rabbits are known to carry just about every kind of tick, as well as carrying fleas and lice—so handle with care, and skin as soon as possible. Rabbit should be well cooked.


Sweet-and-sour rabbit
INGREDIENTS

1 large rabbit (or 2 small ones)

(Batter)

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 egg

1 cup water

(Sauce)

½ cup white vinegar

¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup ketchup

½ cup cold water

½ cup pickles, chopped

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

2 tsp. cornstarch

METHOD

Parboil rabbit until tender. Remove all bones. Chop up the meat and dip pieces in batter and deep fry.

(Sauce)

Mix ingredients for sauce and bring to a boil. Pour over deep-fried rabbit.


Standard fried rabbit
INGREDIENTS

1 lb. rabbit, cut into sections

1 cup white wine

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp. flour

8 Tbsp. butter

2 cups milk

METHOD

Wash rabbit and towel dry. Pour wine over meat and marinate 1 hour. Drain and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. Heat butter in heavy frying pan, browning rabbit quickly on all sides. Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour (no longer). Place meat in heated, covered dish and drain off all but 1 Tbsp. of butter. Blend in 1 Tbsp. of flour and brown. Add milk. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until mixture thickens. Enjoy.

Feeds 4


Roasted rabbit
INGREDIENTS

1 large rabbit (or 2 small ones)

½ tsp. pepper

1 cup prepared mustard

2 white onions, peeled and sliced

½ cup butter, melted

1 bay leaf

¼ tsp. thyme leaves

1 tsp. parsley, minced

2 tsp. salt

(Sauce)

1 Tbsp. prepared mustard

1 cup cream

¼ cup prepared mustard

METHOD

Clean and wash rabbit thoroughly in cold water and dry with a cloth. Rub inside and out with salt and pepper. Place rabbit in buttered baking dish or cast-iron frying pan. Spread with I cup prepared mustard and cover with sliced onions. In a small pan, over low heat, melt butter and add bay leaf, thyme and parsley. Pour mixture over meat. Roast uncovered in a preheated oven at 375℉. for 45 minutes or until meat is a golden colour. Baste often. Place meat on a serving plate and keep warm (discard bay leaf).

Sauce: Stir 1 Tbsp. mustard and 1 cup cream into pan juices. Heat (do not boil). Pour over rabbit.

Feeds 4 hungry hunters