This weekend our metal shop was buzzing with activity, testosterone and beer. Dave and our buddy John were replacing the motor in a bobcat and getting that thing up and running. Our other buddy Bob was here working on setting up some new electrical lines in the shop so that they can all do more manly stuff in the future. Dudes are genetically designedÂ to survive off of beef jerky, canned ravioli and tuna salad. They can do this for days, weeks, even 31 years. But this weekend I wanted them to eat some real food.Â Gasp!Â They had been working so hard this whole weekend. But the problem is that we haven’t gone grocery shopping in three weeks. I didn’t have much in the fridge or pantry but I did have some fresh farm raised rabbit! How that is possible, I do not know. I used what I had in the pantry to make a sweet honey and curry oven roasted rabbit.Â Not all guys like sweet with their meat but I figured since they can ravenously eat this with their hands, they wouldn’t mind.
Before we get started, let me say this. Yes, rabbits are cute animals. We all know this. I’m an animal lover, but I’m also a meat lover. I love pigs and I love pork. I love deer and I love venision. But rabbit doesn’t have a name differentiatingÂ from the live version and meat version of itself. I have no idea why that is. But I think if there were another name for rabbit meat, people would be more inclined to try it out. Meat rabbits are some of the best protein on the market in regards to nutrition and eco-friendliness. They have the highest grain intake to meat output than any other livestock.Â Rabbits can produce six pounds of meat on the same amount of feed and water it takes a cow to produce just one pound of meat.
If you’re not really into rabbit (and I know not everyone is), you can substitute chicken. They cook and taste similar. You can eat both of them with your hands and still be socially acceptable. Rabbit is like the chicken of the forrest. We really enjoy rabbit but don’t prepare it all that often. So it’s a good treat whenever we do get our hands on some. It’s high in protein, low in fat, sodium and cholesterol. Yes, I tricked the dudes into eating something healthy!! Evil laugh. They have a mild gamey flavor so it’s a great meat to include in your dinner plans when you’re looking for something a little different. We prepared this farm raised rabbit whole, but you can prepare it in pieces. To separate the rabbit into pieces, you cut off the front and hind quarters, then break those quarters down the middle, leaving you with two front legs, two hind legs and the center cavity.
Here’s What You Need:
- Whole rabbit, rabbit pieces (or chicken)
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 TbspÂ dijon mustard
- 1 tsp curry powder (I’m pretty heavy handed with the curry powder so I put about 2-3 tsp)
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the rabbit, rabbit pieces or chicken into a shallow baking dish. Mix the other ingredients into a bowl and spread over the meat.
Loosely cover the rabbit with foil. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, basting the rabbit with the honey/curry mixture every 15-20 minutes. Rabbit can turn dry and ruin your evening very quickly. But the continuous basting and foil will prevent that from happening.
I served the rabbit on a bed of rice (wild rice would have been preferred but we didn’t have any on hand) with a side of the cherry mostarda that I made last summer. Before serving, we cut the whole rabbit into pieces (front legs, hind legs and center). And save that extra brine! It’s great as a dipping sauce or drizzled over the rice.
It was incredible!Â Real, actual food that was homemade without having to make a trip to the grocery store! The rabbit was delicious, moist, sweet and a little spicy. And the dudes tore into that sweet rabbit meatÂ like some Middle EarthÂ king.Â Or.. something. I don’t know. But I do know that this dinner was some kind ofÂ kitchenÂ miracle. And that’s good enough for me.