History of Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

History of Ralph's Rabbit Ranch

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Joy of Cooking Rabbits

Each month the ranch receives a variety of questions, mostly from Face Book and Linked In friends; people wanting to know more about rabbits. Regardless of the type inquiries received we try to take time to answer them all. Recently, Teri Nowak, a good friend of Ralph’s Rabbit Ranch suggested we share some of the questions we have received along with our replies as she believes others might find the dialogue useful. 

Well with that said here is a question we received regarding cooking of rabbits. Take a moment to read this post and share your feedback; we would like to know if sharing questions is worth the time and effort.

Inquiry we received:

“Ralph I have two questions. What is the easiest way to cook rabbit and what is the correct number of rabbits one should serve for a dinner party of eight (8)?” Melinda – Joplin, MO

Our reply:
Dear Melinda, It’s important you not think of rabbit as ground beef, chicken or pork. Rabbit is not meant to be a meal staple; rabbit should be considered a special entrée for important events - similar to how a “bone in ham” is a special entrée for Easter, a turkey is a special for Thanksgiving and a lobster a special for New Year's Eve. Rabbit is a meal that should be enjoyed and treasured not just consumed.

How to portion meat rabbit? Our recommendation is one rabbit for every two adults. If you are planning a dinner for 8 adults we suggest 4 good sized rabbits. Be aware there is a significant difference between domestic rabbits (those raised commercially) and those harvested in the wild. Wild rabbits seldom grow as big as commercial rabbits and they never contain as much meat per bone.

If this meal you are planning is for a special occasion by all means go with commercially raised rabbits like those we raise here at Ralph's Rabbit Ranch - Home of Gabe's Gourmet Rabbits. Commercially raised rabbits are easy to purchase. You can find them at local organic farmers, full service butcher shops, established meat lockers as well as a high-end retail grocery chains. 

The reason we suggest serving commercially raised rabbits is that the meat will not only be much tenderer - but it will also be more savory. Wild rabbits seldom enjoy consistency in their diets – they eat whatever they can find; where as commercially raised rabbits are fed a regulated quality feed. Here at our ranch our feed is unique proprietary blend of high protein corn, oats and barley coalesced with fresh IPA (Indian Pale Ale) beer to add nutrients and a tangy hop flavor the rabbits enjoy.

Now in regards to your first question, there are really only four basic ways to prepare rabbit: 1) Roasted 2) Braised, 3) Fried and 4) Slow Cooked. Either method will produce a succulent meal; however if you are a novice rabbit chef - someone preparing rabbit for the first time then our recommendation is to slow cook or crock pot your rabbit. A slow cooker will allow you to create an easy yet delightful meal.

We would caution you about braising rabbits for a dinner party - braised rabbit meat should be limited to couples dining for two important reasons. First, braised rabbits tend to cook at different rates; the last thing you want is some meat overcooked while other meat is under cooked. Even more important we’re sure you are aware of the folklore surrounding the aphrodisiac effects of rabbit meat. This aphrodisiac effect only occurs when rabbits are braised. 

I am not a Chef or chemist but experts say braising accelerates the production of amino acids in rabbit meat. The amino acids in rabbit are identical to the amino acids found in oysters and chocolate. Consequently consuming braised rabbit often heightens romantic thoughts, lowers inhibitions and intensifies amorous inclinations. So never serve rabbit for guests you don’t know.

Hope this helps.

Ralph's Rabbit Ranch - Home of Gabe's Gourmet Rabbits
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