First, since I failed to mention: Missy had her kits yesterday at some point. I believe I counted six heads when I checked her box out in the late afternoon. It’s her first litter, and I was concerned that they weren’t rolly-polly bellied babies. When I went back out later to check on the litter, they still weren’t, so I put her into the box and kept her there. She looked extremely confused as to what they were doing, but I guess she figured out enough. I gave her about five minutes with my hand on her head, and she stayed put for another five minutes. When I checked them after feeding everyone else, they were appropriately rolly-polly.
All of the litters seem to be doing okay tonight. Hopefully that continues.
Cooking with Rabbit
It has been a long time since I cooked with rabbit. The herd I raised during my teen years was destroyed by (our) dogs close to twenty years ago now. We had a few left in the freezer for a while, but that was it.
As a kid/teen, the most common way we consumed rabbit was “rabbit & dumplings,” followed by roasted rabbit or rabbit & rice. The methods we used were the same as you would for chicken.
I can’t eat two of those now.
I initially considered making a rabbit version of “shepard’s pie,” but my stomach voted for an Italian flavor.
2 tbsp bacon grease (or other fat to brown in)
1 2.25lb (ish) rabbit
1 med onion, diced
2 tbsp diced garlic (or more)
2 beef bouillon cubes
Spices to taste – I used dried celery, basil, oregano, rosemary, black pepper, and sage
1 8oz package of sliced mushrooms
1 28oz can, crushed tomatoes
1 15oz can, diced tomatoes (I used Italian spiced ones, since there were some on the can rack
Balsamic vinegar – I didn’t measure, just eyeballed it for about what I would use with a sausage or beef version
I deboned the rabbit, mostly, and cut the meat into half inch to inch sized chunks. The ribs were cut from the backbone as two sections, and the frame was sectioned as well. Keep everything for the moment.
Using a large skillet on a moderately low temperature, melt the fat-of-choice. Saute the onion and garlic, then add the bouillon cubes, herbs, and mushrooms. Let it cook down for a moment to start melding. Add a cup of water.
Add the rabbit chunks and the bones/rib sections. Let the chunks cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add both cans of tomato-base, and add sufficient water to cover the meat, bones, and prevent scorching of the tomatoes.
Turn the temperature lower, and allow it to simmer uncovered. Stir occasionally. After about 30 minutes, pull the bones out, and scrape off the remaining bits of meat that weren’t accessible before. Add those back into the sauce. The bones can be discarded at this point.
Continue to simmer to thicken the sauce, and feel free to adjust the seasonings to taste at this point. It’s ready to serve when the larger chunks of meat are tender.
For noodles, I used the Miracle Noodles, fettuccine style. Husband just had a bowl of it, with naan bread.
He said it “tasted okay for rodent,” and that it wasn’t dissimilar to chicken, just a different texture.