Rabbit is becoming more of a mainstay among the American diet. I have started seeing several friends posting that they are having rabbit for dinner. When my family dines out we are seeing it on the menu more often. Why? Rabbit is a great hardy animal to raise for meat. The best part is it’s the healthiest meat & most environmentally friendly meat you can buy. We just have to overcome the idea of what is in your head.
Cassoulet comes to use from France named for its cooking vessel. You can use any meat to make this versatile dish. Duck, Rabbit, Chicken , Beef, & Pork can all be used. (If using red meat switch to Pinot Noir and add 2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste). If you need to make it fast use 2 cans of beans and lower the amount of of liquids to 1 cup wine & 1 cup broth. If using chicken then use chicken broth instead of beef. If I was only only allowed 1 meal it would be Rabbit Cassoulet. The scent of this dish stayed in my house overnight, making me wish I had more of it to eat for breakfast.
Rabbit runs in the NCF Store for $10.50 per lb. Each rabbit weighs between 2.5 lbs and 3.5 lbs. If we hadn’t had friends over for dinner this easily would have fed our family for several meals. In this dish we also use NCF Italian Mild Sausage which sells for $10 per lb. The rabbit and sausage pair perfectly together giving a great flavor profile.
Rabbit love it hate it, it is a tremendous renewable food source. When we talk about healthy meats this is the one that gives you bang for the buck. There is little fat in rabbit meat and the cholesterol is quite low.
According to Off Grid News “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.””
After an unfortunate childhood rabbit incident I refused to eat rabbit. At that point in time I got mad at myself and made my husband take me out for rabbit for my 35th birthday. Since then I have extremely slowly begun to work with it. This past spring I took a rabbit butchering class at Standard Foods here in Raleigh. I brought home my rabbit pieces and made them for lunch the next day. We all loved them so yes I’m finally 30 some odd years later am going to regularly make rabbit for dinner.
Tonight’s recipe is for beginners. Something to lesson the blow to the kids that you have a meat source. It won’t be recognizable, I usually find that the best way to start. and with a long slow cooking aromas they won’t be able to resist either.
Bogs are simple, you boil a rabbit or chicken in salted water for 2 hours. Next up you de-bone it(save the water) add rice and cook down until the rice is soft. The rice will take on a new texture making this dish more of a stew. There will be left overs, freeze them and save for another rainy cold night when you won’t have much time on hand.