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Recipe of the Month: BBQ Rabbit

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Rabbit is healthier and more sustainable than many of the other meats we enjoy, yet for most of us it is not a regular part of our diet. Which is a shame! Rabbit is nutrient rich, and one of the leanest, most environmentally friendly meats you can eat. Compared to beef, pork, lamb, turkey, veal, and chicken, rabbit has the highest percentage of protein, the lowest percentage of fat, and the fewest calories per pound. The alfalfa-loving herbivores are foragers (which means they don’t rely on energy-intensive soy or corn for food) that grow and reproduce quickly. According to Slow Food USA, “rabbit can produce six pounds of meat on the same amount of feed and water it takes a cow to produce just one pound.”

It may surprise you to hear it (it will not surprise my husband), but I am not by nature a very adventurous eater when it comes to meat. I love steak, steak and more steak. But this holiday, my daughter, Miranda and her wife Joey excitedly drove me outside my comfort zone when they gave Brad and I a pair of whole young rabbits for Christmas.

I’ll be honest. When I opened the package, I really didn’t know what I was going to do with these rabbits! However, after a bit of research (and a bunch of recipe ideas from Joey!) I started to feel a bit more comfortable with the idea of cooking and eating Bunny.

There are a lot of great ways to prepare rabbit, but in the end, I opted for a simple braise in my Instant Pot.

BBQ Rabbit

Ingredients:

1-2 whole young rabbits, skinned
3-4 cloves of garlic
1-2 bay leaves
2-4 cups chicken broth
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce – I use the Primal Kitchen brand

Step 1: Unpack your rabbit. Defrost rabbit in the refrigerator the day before cooking. Remove giblets if needed. These can be cooked up and eaten yourself or, unseasoned, fed to your pets. They’re very nutritious!

Step 2: Add braising liquid and seasonings. Place your rabbit in the Instant Pot. Pour in the broth and add the garlic and bay leaves. Because I knew I would be adding BBQ sauce later, I opted not to salt and pepper the meat before cooking. You can always adjust seasoning after it’s cooked.

 

 

This is what it looks like when its done.

Step 3: Cook your rabbit. You have some options here. I chose to cook it on high pressure for 40 mins and then let it continue to cook slowly in the broth for a while until it was closer to dinnertime. But you could also choose to slow cook it for several hours, or simply use the high pressure for a faster cook time. Your call. The rabbit is done when the meat falls off the bones.

 

 

Step 4: Remove the carcass and save the broth for later. Pull the meat off the bones and place it back inside the pot.

 

 

 

 

Step 5: Add your favorite BBQ sauce, heat through, and enjoy! Serve with beans and mashed potatoes, and you’ve got yourself a great meal.

 

 

 

 

P.S. Extra Tips:

Smash your cloves of garlic to release their flavor.
Save the broth in a Mason jar or freeze for later use.
I usually make my own BBQ sauce, but in a pinch, I like this version from Primal Kitchen.

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