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Thread: Tough Rabbit Meat?

  1. #1
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    Tough Rabbit Meat?


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    How to avoid tough rabbit meat?

    I recently got into hunting rabbits and had a few questions. I hear rabbit meat is supposed to be very tender, but the first time i cooked one, following a recipie for chicken-fried rabbit in a very knowledgable game book, it was so tough that it hurt my teeth to pull it off the bone. Second time, i decided to make stew, so i started by barely browning the meat for aabout a minute, then added my stock and other ingredients, and slowly simmered it for a couple of hours. It was tender compared to last time, but still a bit rubbery. Way more so than with chicken, which i hear is supposed to have a similar texture. Both times the rabbit went from kill to meal in a couple of hours. Could it be the meat hadn't cooled properly, producing tough meat as with bigger game animals that aren't given enough time for the muscles to relax? Stressful kill? Region?
    Anyhoo, I know this is an odd topic, but i figured some of you hunt and might be able to answer my questions.

    Thanx

  2. #2
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    First few times I cooked up some rabbit it was tougher than nails. I never asked anybody about it but I started cooking it all day in a crock pot, makes a great stew with some potatoes, carrots, corn, peas, beans, lots of pepper, salt, etc. You could also leave the meat out to get up to room temp, sometimes the bacteria kicks in and tenderizes it for ya (not a smart way, but works). Basically just stew it ALL day, like get up at 5am, put it on, eat around 6pm.

  3. #3
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    Once in a while you will find a tough animal.I got a deer once that was very tough. Marinating etc didn't work so I had to grind up the whole deer so I had lots of excellent pasta sauce!! Even the liver of that deer was tough......Parboiling will help as will marinating and of course slow cooking in liquid [braising].....Wild rabbits certainly won't be as tender as domestic chicken.Even domestic rabbits are not as tender as chicken.

  4. #4
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    You guys ARE trying to cook up Cottontail Rabbits, and not Jackrabbits, aren't you?

  5. #5
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    Yes, Mike.
    I don't even think I've seen a jackrabbit around here (South Dakota).
    Tho there probably are.

  6. #6
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    We have both here, and occasionally someone will try to cook up a jack. Pretty nasty.

    BTW, do you know to check their livers for green/yellow spots when skinning?

    Rabbits can have a disease(can't remember the name at the moment), and it's transmitable to humans, and very nasty.

    The spots on the liver is a sign of it. If you run into that, bury the carcass, and be very careful when washing your knife. You can get it by getting cut with infected rabbit blood on it. It happened to a friend of mine and he spent a long time in the hospital before they even found out what it was, even after I told them about him cutting himself, and the rabbit having that disease.

    Sorry I can't remember the name for you.

  7. #7
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    That's okay, mike. It's called Tumelaria or something close, and yes, i do know how to check. Thanx for the concern. I have eaten one with a clean liver with one tiny spot on it, which i considered normal even though it was only the second one I have seen. I didn't get sick, so I think its normal to have a small blemish every so often. But i would avoid one with apparent white spots.
    Meanwhile, why do people like liver so much?? Rabbit or any other animal, it still tastes like piss to me!
    Do you like liver?

  8. #8
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    Par boiling is the best way to tenderize a tough old bunny. Cover with water in a big pot with a lid, season with salt pepper and onions (and what ever else you like) bring to a boil, turn down the fire and simmer, slow boil with the lid on until fork tender and falling of the bones.

    Then you can bread it and fry it, or bread it and bake it or what ever.

  9. #9
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    A little old fashioned maybe but just about all my wild small game goes into the pressure cooker. 20 minutes and fork/pull it off the bone. I use the PC to can venison as well. Ask your mom/grandmother for pointers if you are new to this.

    Pressure cooking is the REAL MAN'S way of cooking! The possibilities for explosions and colorful food sprays and scalding are endless!

  10. #10
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    tex,gotta' admit your PC preparation offers the chance of lots more fun but I just throw it in crock pot with whatever else and cook all day.

  11. #11
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    Ugh, I can't even imagine eating rabbit... But I did consider something; would a pressure cooker work? My mom uses hers a lot for cooking meat and it is never tough. (I don't eat much red meat, so I'm not familiar with cooking it.)

    ~ashes

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bzzhewt

    Do you like liver?

    GOD NO!! I hate liver of any kind, fixed in any way.

    Incidentally, if you don't like the taste of liver, don't ever eat Kangaroo tail soup if offered it.
    It's like liver gravy(thick) with chunks of liver in it.

    I've heard also, that Kangaroo meat in general tastes like liver.

  13. #13
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    The last time I cooked a rabbit, I stuck it in a pot, filled it with water, added some potatoes, onions, and some herbs, then poured in about half a cup of sugar. I let it cook for a few hours then took it out. That night it was covered in flour and cooked over a campfire in a skillet. The meat was literally falling off the bones. Very tasty and tender. My mom does the same thing when she makes a deer roast too. She just puts it in the roasting pot, adds carrots, potatoes and onions, then rubs sugar into it. I'm not sure if the sugar actually helps to tenderize it, but I've yet to eat one that was tough.

  14. #14
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    Talking

    Textoothpk, pressure cookers can be fun indeed !!! There are certain things you shouldn't cook in them for that reason. My relatives once decided to cook up some blueberries in the pressure cooker .Suddenly they had a purple kitchen !!!....On a technical point -pressure cooking vs boiling - the higher the temperature protein is cooked the tougher it will be.Therefore protein is tougher when pressure cooked . However the pressure cooker does break down connective tissue better.

  15. #15
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    Damn... I didn't even see his message before I posted that. I think I stop reading and start skimming after the first few posts, lol.

    We sell Kuhn Rikon (sp? I'm not at work now) pressure cookers in our kitchen store because they have a thingy at the top that will pop up so you can release steam and also know if it's done. Apparently the older ones and the cheaper ones don't have this option and can blow up! I have one I never used, but now that I have this MAN living with me, maybe I'll try it. No rabbit though! (sorry.)

    ~ashes

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by knzn
    Par boiling is the best way to tenderize a tough old bunny. Cover with water in a big pot with a lid, season with salt pepper and onions (and what ever else you like) bring to a boil, turn down the fire and simmer, slow boil with the lid on until fork tender and falling of the bones.

    Then you can bread it and fry it, or bread it and bake it or what ever.

    I've tried this while making stock with the less meaty parts of the rabbit.
    Even after simmering my rabbit scraps with bone, onions, seasoning, etc., for upwards of two hours, the meat still stayed rubbery and wouldn't fall off or be easily pierced. Weired, huh. Way old rabbit, maybe?
    thanx.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bzzhewt
    It's called Tumelaria or something close, and yes, i do know how to check.
    Tularemia. It's also transmitted directly to humans via tick bites, so another good reason to use the bug spray while out hunting, hiking, etc.

    Sorry I have no suggestions on the cooking procedure. You might check on a recipe site under wild game. I've only eaten rabbit once, and it was deep fried. I never asked if they did any other preparation in advance. The deep frying seemed to seal in the juices, and it was tasty enough.

  18. #18
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    You're not suppose to eat rabbit or squirrel in the summer because of diseases. That's for cold weather, what convinced me was squirell hunting last summer and the squirrel was full of bot flys that contained wiggling larve, after we picked the poor victom up and used a metal 4" roofing material spreader to FORCE them out. I called the hardware store across the street and they said No Way to eat either in the summer! I'm not trying to grosse anyone out and the only thing I can think of to make rabbit tender is soak in buttermilk for a day or two and what ever the recipie boil it with Sweet Sue bullion in a can, chicken or beef..either one.For more understanding of why this happens go to "bot flies" on a search engine.
    Last edited by Cindy Denning; 08-09-2005 at 02:19 PM.

  19. #19
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    Man I havent had rabbit in ages , my Mom used to fry it up like chicken and man was it gooooooood !!! My Brother who is younger than me wouldnt eat it until Mom said it was fried chicken lol !!
    Odd , I love calf liver n onions.... and I mean love it ! but get those small animal livers and innards away from me

  20. #20
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    Low, slow, wet cooking. Stews and soups are the way to go.

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