Today I am letting a major cat out of the bag. People always ask us what we do with all these animals. Some people I just cannot give a straight answer to because it offends their delicate nature, or they like to believe that meat just magically appears at the grocery all wrapped up in styrofoam and plastic packages and that’s all there is to it. If you are one of those people, then stop reading right now because you are not going to enjoy this post at all. But if you are looking for healthier, home raised sources of food – meat in particular – then read on.
The truth is, we do raise some of our animals for food. This has been a progression for us over the last couple of years. When we first got our hens abut 4 years ago we never had any intention in anything other than a little entertainment and healthy home grown eggs. Unfortunately we did not end up with the correct order of baby chicks and there was a rooster in the bunch. A very large, mean rooster. It didn’t take long to decide that he had to go and maybe trying a home grown chicken dinner was something we could handle. That first Mean Roo Stew was easier than we anticipated and we bought meat chicks the following year and they were delicious.
Fast forward to rabbits. From what I can remember it was Greg’s idea and I ran with it. Or something like that. Since there was only one market rabbit pen at our fair last year we decided it would be worth our while to get our 4-H girl some market rabbits. I am game to try just about anything so I was all in – and since we had to raise all these young rabbits to get a decent pen of 3 for fair we would have to do something with the extras.
I purchased some breeding stock last summer and our first-time mama had a litter of ELEVEN! Holy moly that’s alot of rabbits. Ellie May is a superstar rabbit momma!
That first bunch was ready for processing last weekend. We learned how from some very good friends and felt confident. It turns out that rabbits are by far the easiest meat we have processed at home. It was very quick even though we took our time.
I have never cooked rabbit before so the first one was an experiment. I put it in the crockpot with a little bit of water, covered it in my favorite BBQ spice blend and let it go until it was falling off the bone. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of meat – the meat to bone ratio is very good! I thought the rabbits weren’t quite big enough until I saw how much meat was really there. One rabbit was more than enough for a meal plus some leftovers.
When I took the first bite I thought “this tastes like chicken – only better!” It was delicious and possibly the best meat we have raised yet. In fact, one of my children ate an entire sandwich and had no idea it wasn’t chicken (he doesn’t even ask anymore) This rabbit experiment is definitely a project we will continue.
So I want to know – have you ever eaten rabbit? What did you think about it? I am looking for more rabbit recipes so leave me a comment and me know if you have one you love.