If you ask people how rabbit meat tastes like, you will possibly get 3 following answers:
1 – It tastes like chicken: This means it was cooked using one of the most common chicken recipes.
2 – It tastes like game meat: This means that it was probably dried first or grilled on charcoal or fire the same way game meat is cooked.
3 – It tastes like rabbit: This probably implies that you got it right and used a good rabbit meat recipe.
Rabbit meat should taste like a rabbit, not like something it is not and will never be. I have tried countless rabbit meat recipes and I have reached a conclusion regarding the best method to follow when it comes to cooking a rabbit, and we will go through the whole process together today, from lighting charcoal to extinguishing it after the whole cooking process.
While there are so many rabbit cooking recipes, only one method has proved to be a cut above the rest. It's the grilling on charcoal method. If you have an oven, you can still use an oven then follow the steps I'm going to share with you shortly. I'm getting so hungry, I can't wait to eat rabbit meat once more, so let's get started.
The first thing you need to do after butchering a rabbit is to wash it and try to get rid of as much blood as possible. After that put the rabbit in a small dish where the meat will all fit. Sprinkle the whole rabbit with salt then cover with tap water. Place the dish in a fridge for 24 hours. We don't want the meat to freeze, so don't put the dish in the freezer, we just want it to get a little cold, but not freeze. The salted water will drain as much blood from the rabbit meat as possible, almost all of it in fact, and it will soften the meat. When eating rabbit meat, you certainly wouldn't want to do is if you are practicing to fight a heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. The salted water will also help season the inner parts of the rabbit meat with a little bit of salt, those parts that would never have accessed salt when seasoning the usual way.
24 hours later, your water will be red to maroon in colour. It's because of the blood that has been drained from the meat. So rinse the meat once more then either cook the whole rabbit or first cut into two if you are cooking for 1 or 2 people only. You will cook the other half another day.
Here are things that you are going to need:
1. Charcoal and a braai stand or a barbecue grill or simply an oven.
2. A knife or a pair of kitchen scissors for cutting meat.
3. A kitchen brush for rubbing cooking oil.
4. A pair of tongs for flipping the meat
For the ingredients themselves, you are going to need the following:
1. Rabbit meat itself, either a whole rabbit or half rabbit. If you are cooking for 2 people only then you probably need just a half rabbit.
2. Cooking oil
4. Your favourite spice for roasting meat or braai or barbecuing meat.
Now lets light the charcoal. At times charcoal can be very difficult to light. I used to spend lots of minutes, if not close to an hour, trying to light charcoal, but now I do it with minimal struggle. All I simply do is to turn on the gas stove, place 3 or 4 pieces of charcoal on each valve wait for less than five minutes and that's it. Your charcoal is ready to get things started. Arrange the charcoal in the braai stand or charcoal grill in such a way that the glowing sides of the charcoal face each other to increase heat. This will allow you to add and light more charcoal, this time using the already glowing charcoal. Simply blow some air several times on the charcoal or use any light object with a flat surface, such as a plastic plate.
Now that we have our charcoal ready, lets start cooking. It will take us roughly 30 to 45 minutes to cook the meat, depending on how much charcoal you are going to use and how hot it is.
Step 1: Place the meat on the grill either facing upwards or downwards, it's all the same. Use a kitchen brush to rub the upper side of the rabbit meat with vegetable cooking oil.
Step 2: Season with salt. Also season with your favourite spice for roasting meat or braai spice. My favourite is Nyama Spice, made by a South African company called Freddy Hirsch Group. The spice is excellent for flame grilling fish or rabbit or chicken or even pork. It can be found in some parts of Southern Africa such as South Africa and Zimbabwe. You can also use Portuguese chicken spice or lemon and herb spice, they are both well for rabbit grilling. If you want your meat hot, then you can add your usual hot stuff, but personally I don't like anything with hot chilli.
Step 3: Use a pair of tongs to flip the meat then use a kitchen brush to rub the remaining side of rabbit meat with cooking oil.
Step 4: Simply repeat step 2.
Step 5: We want the whole meat to cook over a period of 30 to 45 minutes, so keep flipping sides frequently, probably after every 4 to 5 minutes. As you flip sides using your pair of tongs, you may rub portions of the meat you feel nee more cooking oil and afterwards sprinkle more salt or more spice on the rubbed portions as need arises. We don't want our meat to be dry and hard to chew, we want it as juicy and soft as possible and cooking oil will help us achieve that.
Step 6: After about 30 minutes of cooking the meat, it should be over 90% complete. Use a knife or a pair of kitchen scissors or shears to cut the meat through the vertebral column or simply the back bone into 2 parts. Cutting the meat through the vertebral column helps you ascertain if the central part of your meat has cooked well. If it has then your meat is ready. If it hasn't then bring that central portion to heat and let it cook for 5 or so minutes.
Now your rabbit meat is ready. You will agree with me that this is the tastiest rabbit recipe you have ever tried. You can serve your meat just like that, or you can first cut the big pieces of meat further into smaller chunks, which ever way suits your preferences. Personally I serve as is, without further cutting the meat.
Don't forget to get a metal dish, fill it water then use metal cooking tongs to grab all glowing pieces of charcoal and throw them into dish to extinguish them. Leave them there for 10 minutes them remove them from the water so that they can dry. You will use this charcoal again next time you want to grill with charcoal. It's easier to light used charcoal as compared to fresh one.
In our next video I will teach you how I make simple rabbit bacon without any special machine or apparatus, all you need is rabbit meat and a knife. So make sure you subscribe to my channel, Best Farming Tips, so that you get notified when I upload the video, together with many other exciting videos that I upload every week.