John's Journal...


Cooking Rabbits

Editor’s Note: Rabbit hunting comes in several variations, and so do methods to cook rabbits.

Besides loving to hunt rabbits, I truly enjoy eating the rabbits I harvest. To have a tasty rabbit to eat, you must first care for the rabbit in the field. I immediately field dress any rabbit I bag for Click to enlargetwo reasons. I eliminate unnecessary weight, and the meat tends to cool quicker that way. At day's end, I skin my game and cool it in an ice chest.

To remove the wild taste of the rabbit, I quarter it and soak the meat in salty water overnight. If the rabbit is a large cottontail or a big swamp rabbit, I’ll parboil it on top of the stove in water to tenderize the meat before I cook it.

Rabbits are great eating any way you cook them if you follow the recipes in the many wild-game cookbooks. And rabbit hunting is fun any way you go about it. A quick shot at a rabbit you've flushed yourself is one kind of thrill, no less and no more exciting in its way as the music of a beagle pack on a hot trail. The main thing is to hunt safe and have fun.

Here’s two of our family’s favorite recipes for rabbit.Click to enlarge

Celestial Rabbit with Mustard Sauce

1 pound 1-inch-size chunks of rabbit meat
1/3 cup water
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 egg
3 tsp. sesame seeds
1/3 cup flour
Mustard Sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Heat oil in skillet to about 350 or 375 degrees. Mix last 6 ingredients. Dip the rabbit pieces into the mixture, and drop several pieces into the oil at a time. Allow the rabbit to brown, turning once and then draining on paper towels. Mix the ingredients for the mustard sauce together into a small bowl with fork until well-blended. This recipe makes enough sauce for dipping approximately 3 pounds of fried rabbit pieces.

Rabbit Pie

3 cups cooked rabbit meat
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup sifted flour
2 cups rabbit broth
Salt, pepper

Click to enlargeDice rabbit meat coarsely. Heat butter in large frying pan. Add green pepper and onion and cook about 5 minutes. Blend in flour and cook until mixture bubbles. Gradually pour in broth, stirring constantly. Cook until thick and smooth and add salt and pepper. Add meat to sauce and heat thoroughly. Pour mixture into shallow baking dish or pan and let stand while preparing pastry (below). Serves 5 to 6.


1 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
2 tablespoons cold water

Mix flour and salt, cut in shortening, and moisten with water. Roll out the pastry and cut slits to allow steam to escape. Fit pastry to top of dish or pan, crimping edges of crust. Bake pie in 425 degrees oven 15 to 20Click to enlarge minutes, or until crust browns and sauce bubbles.

Rabbit Smothered in Onions

1-3 pound rabbit, cut in serving pieces
3 large onions, sliced
3 tablespoons shortening
1 cup sour cream
Salt, pepper

Dredge rabbit pieces in flour. Then sauté onions in shortening in skillet, remove from skillet, and sauté rabbit in remaining shortening in skillet until brown on all sides. Cover rabbit with the onion; pour sour cream over top of rabbit and onion. Cover and cook slowly for 1 hour on top of stove, or bake in 350 degree oven 35 to 45 minutes. Uncover, bake 15 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 2 to 3.

Check back each day this week for more.

Day 1: Learning Where to Find Rabbits
Day 2: Choosing Good Rabbit Dogs
Day 3: Deciding On a Rabbit Gun
Day 4: Selecting Clothes for Rabbit Hunting
Day 5: Cooking Rabbits



Entry 340, Day 5