How to Cook Rabbit Meat
Rabbit Farming in South Africa

© Coniglio
Rabbit meat is very lean and can be grilled, fried or used in stews and does well if marinated beforehand.

Rabbit meat is a lean, white meat and very healthy to eat. It is all but fat-free, with the only fat on the carcass being around the kidneys and thin strips on the shoulders. The meat is very high in protein (as high as 20% depending on what it was fed) and very low in cholesterol. It is an ideal meat to feed to invalids and sportsmen as it is very easily digested.

Rabbit meat can be used in any recipe designed for chicken, but care must be taken to never overcook the meat as it will dry out and become tough. As there is not fat in the meat, marinating the meat before cooking does help to keep it moist. Marinade can be made with oil, tomato sauce, wine, garlic, salt and pepper or any available or desirable herbs such as parsley and thyme.

A favourite cooking method is to parboil the whole rabbit in a rich stock. The stock can be made up of all the bits cut off the carcass including the head, kidneys, heart and so on. Add onions, carrots, garlic, a bit of fat from a chicken or any other fat but keep the liver for pate. Stock cubes - chicken or chilli - would be a good addition. After parboiling, cut it into portions, dip in egg and bread crumbs and fry in oil. Season well and enjoy a delicious meal.

Rabbit can be cooked on an open fire. Marinade the rabbit meat first and cook quickly so as to prevent it drying out. Parboiling first and then basting it with a tasty marinade sauce is a good idea to keep the juices in the meat.

Rabbit livers can be made into an excellent pate, using simple ingredients such as onions, herbs, butter and sherry or brandy to give a special kick to a finely blended pate. Cook the livers with onions and herbs until all the moisture from the onions and livers is reduced. Remove from heat, add butter and liquor and blend until completely smooth.

By Karoline Steenekamp