Easy Rabbit Casserole

2/4/2009 3:53:39 PM

Tags: game, rabbit, recipe, muffin

Rabbit Casserole

Hunting is a very big part of our lives in this family, so wild game recipes are always welcome. I thought I would share a recipe for a dish I made with a rabbit my husband brought me from a successful hunt.

Hubby cleans and skins the rabbit, and then I take over. I put the rabbit in my slow cooker, and almost cover with water. I season with various spices including salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and oregano. You can add whatever you like. I cook at a medium temperature for a few hours, or till the meat starts to fall off of the bones. At this point I remove the rabbit from the broth. I strain the broth, and set it back. I pick all the meat off of the bones. This is usually very easy to do at this point. It pretty much just falls off in your hand. Be careful of small bones. I cut up any larger pieces into bite size chunks. Now I take a small portion of the meat and add it back into the broth. This gets put into the fridge to make another meal with. That’s right, two meals from one rabbit! It usually gets made into some sort of soup or stew. That will be a recipe for another blog.

Now you have cooked and de-boned rabbit cut into bite sized pieces. I used this to make a casserole that my family has repeatedly asked for again. I took one of those boxed pasta salad mixes, I think it was the bacon ranch kind, and prepared it per instructions on the box. I know that’s kinda cheating, but very easy! When it was done, I added my rabbit pieces, some butter, and some cheese cut into chunks. Use your favorite kind of cheese, or combine a few kinds. I poured this mixture into a baking dish and topped with a little more cheese, (more is better) and sprinkled the whole thing with seasoned bread crumbs. Just heat this in a 350 degree oven till heated through. Absolutely yummy!

Corn muffins with peach butter

To go with this meal, I also made some easy corn muffins. The recipe is:

1¼ cups flour
¾ cup corn meal
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg beaten

Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil, and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into greased or paper lined muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

These went great with the rabbit casserole, and they are also a very good breakfast addition. I made some peach butter to put on them. Very easy to make, I simply set out a stick of butter and let it get to room temperature. Then I add some of my homemade peach jam, and whip it together. This goes great on muffins. You could use whatever flavor you like. Strawberry, blueberry, apple, any of these would be yummy.

Anyone with a good wild game recipe out there? I would love to hear it!



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Lori
2/8/2009 2:27:23 PM
Nebraska Dave, It was beautiful here today too, 60 degrees! We just came back from a long walk out the woods road that runs the ridge behind our house. I'm glad to here your chicken is a cookin! I usually make a big batch of soup when I make it. It is great to have extra to freeze for a later date. A pressure cooker would probably get the job done just as well and quicker than my slow cooker or crock pot. The only reason I don't use one, is because I don't have one! We also soak our squirrel, rabbit, grouse... in saltwater sometimes, if I'm not cooking it immediately, or freezing it. The deer around here eat a lot of grain too from surrounding fields, much to the chagrin of the farmers that farm them, so they are well fed.

Nebraska Dave
2/8/2009 1:08:18 PM
Thanks a bunch for the pointers about how to care for the meat following the kill. I know that what an animal eats makes a difference too. Here in Nebraska almost everything that can be hunted foliages through the cornfields so ends up being cornfed.

Lori's hubby
2/8/2009 12:02:57 PM
Nebraska Dave, The main key to preventing "gamey" tasting wild game is proper handling of the animal after the kill. Cooling the carcass is the first priority. This requires removing the innards and cleaning the inside of the carcass; removing the hide ( or feathers, as the case may be); and getting it hung in a cool place (40 degrees F is optimum). When processing, remove any glands,excess fat,or meat damaged by the bullet. As you're deboning the meat you'll notice a membrane encases each muscle; this is referred to as "silver skin",and you should remove as much of it as you can. It sounds like a lot, but it's worth it when you come home from work and smell that wonderful scent of steak that you know wasn't pumped full of growth hormones or antibiotics. Happy eatin'!

Lori's hubby
2/8/2009 11:37:46 AM
This meal was DEEEEELICIOUS!! I've been trying to get another rabbit for Lori to work her magic on , but , I think the rabbits put out a warning to keep away from me! The season ended yesterday, so, it'll have to wait until next year. Spring gobbler season's coming in a few months, so, that's the next contribution I'm hoping to make to the table.

Nebraska Dave
2/7/2009 3:05:14 PM
Almost 60 degrees here today. ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! Car wash alert. I was lucky to find an open stall at my favorite self service car wash. Now all I have to do is get out the pressure washer and hose out the inside. Just kidding. Anyway I was wondering just what is the special attention that needs to be done to wild game. The only thing that I have seen done with venison was to soak it in salt water a few hours and as for the tough old rooster, Mom always pressure cooked him then in the soup pot he went. My bother-in-law always pressure cooked the rabbit meat before barbecuing it on the grill. Oh, man was that ever tender and good. Has the pressure cooker lost out to the slow cooker? Oh yeah, and the chicken is in the pot cooking today. Your article sparked me to make up a pot of chicken soup. It's pretty easy. Boil up the chicken, carrots, celery, seasoning, and wide noodles. It should produce enough for a couple suppers and a couple more frozen for another day. Rachel Ray I'm not, but I am surviving just fine. :-)

Lori
2/7/2009 9:53:34 AM
Robyn, I have an uncle who raises rabbits for meat. I know some people complain of a "gamey" taste in wild game, but it has been our experience that it most often happens in the larger animals, deer, bear... and even then, with the proper handling and processing, that can be eliminated. The biggest problem, if you want to call it a problem, with small game is that sometimes you get a squirrel or rabbit that has been around for a few years, and when it comes time to cook them, they can be a bit on the tough side. That's why I like to use my slow cooker or crock pot. If you cook it long enough, it will soften up!

Robyn Dolan
2/7/2009 9:30:54 AM
Mmm...I raise meat rabbits and that sounds really yummy! I usually use the rabbits similarly to chicken. I know that wild game sometimes needs a little special attention, my limited experience there is usually make sure it's fairly well done and tender.

Nebraska Dave
2/6/2009 9:14:45 AM
Lori, Oh boy, don't make that offer too many times. It would be hard to say no.

Lori
2/5/2009 6:38:33 PM
Dave, I love Elmer Fudd. I grew up with bugs bunny on Saturday morning cartoons! If you lived close by, my hubby and I would have you for a rabbit casserole meal! Aaahhh..grandchildren! I don't have any yet, but hopefully my daughter and son-in-law will change that before long. I look forward to being able to share so much with them!

Nebraska Dave
2/5/2009 6:23:51 PM
Lori, I wouldn't have any trouble making them the main course of my dinner, but the neighborhood kids might think it a little ghoulish so I just let them be. At the peak of my family life, I was privileged to have a family of five, two dogs, and a cat. Life has a way of changing and now my total family is me. On occasion I receive a visit from my youngest daughter and grandson. So my eating habits have been reduced to a good can opener and a spoon. I don't know though, I just might go hunt me down a rabbit. Where oh where is that pesky little wrabbit? (Elmer Fudd)

Lori
2/5/2009 2:00:47 PM
Hi Cindy! Even I have given strict orders to my hubby that no squirrel hunting can take place right here at the house. This is because a couple of years ago, we took in a baby squirrel that had fallen from the nest in pretty cold temperatures. It was really pure luck that we found the little guy. Since there was no way to get him back into the nest, we decided we would try to save him. I will have to do a blog entry on this sometime, but long story short, he did very well and is still alive today! We named him Spunky, and I don't want any chance of him unwittingly being shot,because of coarse, he is our pet. We returned him to the wild, but he still eats from our feeders today. We know it is him because he doesn't run from us. We can walk right up to him, although we don't try to hold him anymore!

Lori
2/5/2009 1:53:42 PM
Dave, I forgot to say that I'm sure this casserole would be just as good with chicken or pork as the substitute!

Lori
2/5/2009 1:50:33 PM
Hi Dave! Maybe you could be sneaky about gettin one of those pesky, tulip eating rabbits! I'd tell you to buy one, but you know I don't think I have ever seen rabbit for sale in the grocery store! At least not around these parts. My kids tell me that when they were still in school they used to get made fun of all the time for the things they would bring in their lunch. We like all manner of small game, be it rabbit, squirrel, ring-neck pheasant, grouse, turkey...you name it and we will probably eat it! When I would make these things for what we refer to as "supper", many times there would be leftovers. My kids would often take the leftovers in their lunches. They would here things like WHAT ARE YOU EATING????, and EEWWWHHHH THAT'S GROSE! Sad thing is, most of them probably never tried it. I don't know why eating those things is really any different than eating a chicken but apparently to a lot of people it is. I totally get the whole pet thing though. No one wants to put that adorable little critter that has been raised from just a baby and another member of the family, on the table for supper!

Cindy Murphy
2/5/2009 11:52:13 AM
Hi, Lori. Hi, Dave. I have to laugh about the plant-gobbling rabbit story. Welcome to my yard - a yard shared with an abundance of garden-wrecking squirrels, a few hungry rabbits, and two very "every animal needs to be a pet" daughters. Sorry, Lori, but I can't help out with any wild game recipes - we don't eat much game; it's only through the generosity of our neighbor, or when my brother visits and brings some of the bounty from his hunts, are we supplied with venison. You rabbit dish sounds delicious though, and I think I'll have to give it a try using chicken or pork instead.

Nebraska Dave
2/5/2009 11:41:39 AM
Lori, Your recipe for rabbit casserole drudged up some pleasant memories of times that have long since past. In my early twenties while courting my first wife, I encountered by first taste of rabbit. I was attending a school in St. Louis and on weekends would go home with one of the other students. He lived in a town about 40 miles away from the big city out in the country hills of Missouri. He was best friends with a couple of brothers who had a sister. Anyway as things progressed we all became friends and would hunt critters on the weekends. It so happened that there was another married sister in the family that had all kinds of country critters. Goats, chickens, and rabbits were among the menu items grown. It so happened that I arrived one day when the rabbit harvest was in session. I experienced first hand the procedure of preserving the winter storehouse as far as rabbit goes. Of course, the dinner, or supper depending on where you are from, menu was fried rabbit. I could tell folks that it tasted just like chicken, but actually it was way better than chicken. I was hooked and returned each time for the rabbit harvest to get a small portion of the booty for helping. My wife had many different recipes for rabbit, but my favorite still is straight up fried. Many years later with a different wife that thought every animal should be a pet, I decided to make an attempt to recapture those days and raise rabbits for consumption. I quickly learned that I was a big meany for even thinking such a thought. The matched pair of rabbits bought for this endeavor finally died of old age some years later. However now that I read your recipes, I have this hankering for a rabbit casserole. The rabbits here in town know they are untouchable so always taunt me by consuming my tulips to the dirt or gobbling up other savory delights in my yard. I wouldn't have any trouble making them the main course of my dinner, but the neighborhood kids might think it a li



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