You have done the reading, you are ready to start raising rabbits, but the nagging question is – “what is it good for?” Is rabbit meat really good for you, and how do you use it?
Chicken is the “famous” white meat, but only rabbit and pork consist entirely of delicious white meat. No more fighting over who gets white, and who gets dark. Unlike chicken, however, rabbit white meat is not dry, or prone to stringiness. Pork may be fine, and it may be white meat, but here are some amazing facts about rabbit meat that will show you how great it is for you, and why it really is the “other white meat.”
- Rabbit has the lowest cholesterol value of any meat product. Compared to the next two lowest, chicken and pork (both with a value of 230 mg per serving), rabbit has a mere 164 mg of cholesterol.
- Rabbit is the lowest calorie meat per serving at 795 calories per pound vs 810 for chicken, 840 for veal, 1190 for turkey, and 1440 for beef. Pork weighs in at a whopping 2050 calories per pound!
- Rabbit meat is the HIGHEST in protein compared to chicken, fish, lamb, pork and even beef!
- Rabbit meat is highly digestible and recommended by the USDA for children and the elderly.
- The USDA also proclaims rabbit meat “the most nutritious meat known to man.”
If those figures don’t sell you on the great value of rabbit meat—the taste definitely will!
How to Use Rabbit Meat
There really isn’t a recipe using meat that you can’t substitute rabbit for the other meat called for. However, like chicken, rabbit is a typically a very mild-flavored meat, and it works best in the same types of recipes you would generally use chicken in. One caveat: while domestic rabbit raised in a breeder setting has a wonderful, mild flavor, wild rabbit, while still containing all of the fantastic nutrients as its domestic cousin, tends to be much “gamier” and some people find the taste something they have to get used to. If you have ever had “game rabbit” from a hunting expedition, and found the taste more powerful than you like, don’t let that turn you off of rabbit meat. Domestic rabbit is soft, mild and delicious.
Along with chicken recipes, you can grind rabbit meat and use it as a ground meat for spaghetti (works great), for hamburgers, or with noodles and sauce. Even though all of that is fine, rabbit meat, broiled, baked or boiled tastes great all on its own. You can put an entire carcass in the oven and roast it to juicy perfection, make honey glaze for an added treat, or barbeque it on the grill for a fantastic summer treat. Cut up rabbit into cubes, coat them in breading and make “rabbit nuggets” for the kids and they’ll adore them.
Where Rabbit Meat Stands Alone
When made in the methods above, rabbit is a great addition to any recipe and adds more nutritional value with better health aspects than any other meat, but there is one recipe that only rabbit truly excels. In fact, if you have never had rabbit stew, you are in for the treat of a lifetime, and a taste that will forever make you a fan of rabbit meat.
How to Make Rabbit Stew
Rabbit stew is known in some other countries as “Hassenpfeffer.” But no matter what you call this delicious meal, it is a winner at the dinner table. Rabbit stew is easy to prepare, and can be used as a side dish, or is filling enough to be the main course.
What you need:
1 processed rabbit, removed from the carcass and cut into cubes
3 tbsp lard such as Crisco, or saved fat from other meats
Vegetables as desired (sliced carrots, celery and cubed potatoes work great)
1/3 cup flour
½ cup fine chopped onion
2 cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
¼ tsp crushed rosemary
1/8 tsp crushed thyme
2 tsp paprika
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp flour
Melt the fat in the bottom of a large stew pot. Mix the paprika and 1/3 cup of flour. Coat the rabbit in flour and brown in the oil on a high flame on the stove until golden brown. Reduce the heat and add 2 cups water. Slowly stir in remaining flour/paprika mix into the water, stirring well the entire time to avoid clumping. Add your bouillon cube, thyme, and rosemary. Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Add carrots, celery and onion, cover again and simmer for a remaining 30 minutes. Serve in bowls for a delight the entire family will enjoy.