I was so brave, adventurous, and I did it.
When I entered the tent of Flat Broke Acres and saw that they bred and sold rabbit, I told myself that it was just like eating goat for the first time. I was a little squeamish for the first event, but I’ve come to enjoy goat quite a lot over the years. I spoke with the farmer and we discussed the best way to cook it (any way you’d cook a chicken, by the way), we discussed alternatives for side and accompaniments (my choice ended up being roasted veggies, salad, and a cake), and I felt certain that Father’s Day would be incredibly special.
It’s one of the reasons that the Charlottesville City Market is ranked the second best in the nation- not only do we have access to quality, local goods, the range and offerings expand year after year. Adding local producers only enhances the offerings available year after year.
What’s more, rabbit is a lean protein that is extremely heart-healthy, and adding locally produced meat is a great way to add variety to your diet.
Then, on Sunday, my husband-who we were celebrating, by the way- was tasked with washing, drying and buttering the rabbit. (I should note here, that for best results, add fat to the meat, as it tends to dry during baking.)
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Begin with some tasty root veg, like potatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots, and be sure to chop into large pieces to hold up to long braising times. Add to the bottom of a roasting pan. (Add the asparagus halfway into cooking.)
Wash and pat dry the rabbit meat; spread generously with butter.
Rabbit is a very lean meat which means that it can stand up to a lot of spices and flavor. I was tempted to use Indian spices because I love the intensity of flavors, but I went with a classic French Herbs de Provence seasoning.
Place the rabbit on top of the vegetables and add a cup of water to the bottom of the pot. Cover with a lid or foil.
Roast for about an hour and a half (for a 5 pound cut) at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until a thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Let the meat rest for about 5-10 minutes before you slice.
If you can’t finish the whole thing at dinner, might I suggest to try adding leftover meat to a Shepherd’s Pie?
Have you ever tried making something new recently?
1 half-rabbit (mine was nearly 5 pounds!)
3-4 baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, sliced
1 whole wild garlic, green parts chopped, bulb cut in half lengthwise
1 lemon, cut in half
1 small bunch asparagus
1 recipe Herbs de Provence
3 tablespoons butter
salt, pepper, to taste
1 cup water
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the chopped vegetables to the bottom of a roasting pan. (Add the asparagus halfway into cooking, around 45 minutes in the process.)
Wash, dry, and butter the rabbit. Place on top of the vegetables and season liberally with the Herbs de Provence seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste. Add water to the bottom of the pan and cover with lid or aluminum foil.
Roast for approximately an hour and a half, or until a thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Let the meat rest for about 5-10 minutes before you slice.