Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rabbit Meat Preparation

A cleaned fryer rabbit should be set up in a normal resting position on a tray in the refrigerator, legs and knees tucked up so that the rabbit's back is on top, just as if the rabbit was sitting in its pen. This position mimics the "Texas Tender Stretch" method developed for hanging lambs. The idea is to use normal gravity to stretch the loin muscles instead of the usual hanging by back legs which allows the loin muscles to fully contract and shrink. Your rabbit needs to rest like this in the cooler for at least a day, as mentioned above, to allow the passing of the rigor stage.

The Process Begin

Now that you have a properly chilled rabbit, you can begin cutting up. Cutting up can be as simple as taking off the back legs, the loin, leaving the "neck" (neck end, with ribs, forelegs and neck) for roasting or smoking.
If you look at above diagram the dotted line shows the knife path for cutting a rabbit in half. The head is cut off at the atlas joint (between 1st cervical vertebra and base of skull).

Cutting off the back legs, which most people have no clue how to do, follow the lower part of the dotted line. Cut from the tail end upwards, up to about the 6th dash of this line and you will come to the connection between the hip bone and spine.

Then following the curvature of the hip bone, cut along the inner surface of the hip bone, so that the hip bone remains with the leg. Cut around to where you stopped from the other direction. Give the leg a twist and it comes off easily. This leaves just a tail piece remaining between where the legs were.

Also in above drawing on this page shows a front quarter removed, cutting very close along one side of the spine - one quarter has a spine, the other doesn't. Normally this cut extends down to line 2 in the left drawing, but if you need more pieces of rabbit, cut at both lines 2 and 3. The area between lines 2 and 3 is the loin section, either left whole or boned out.

Take the whole legs, and look at the back of the knees. There is a fatty gland there that you can remove before cooking, just cut out all the fatty material in between the muscles at the back of the knee. At the front of the knee, just below the point of the knee, suspended in a bit of cartilage, is the knee cap, one of those little bones that you find in the bottom of rabbit stews. Cut this out if you wish.
The other annoying little bone is the collar bone, a barely visible pin sized bone about 2 cm long, found at the front point of the rabbit shoulder, extending over to the breast bone. Pick these out if you are removing the "wings".

Cook the rabbit, using one of your favorite recipes, or u can get one free from me by email. Enjoy!

All above diagram are from World Rabbit Science Vol. 1(1), pages 6 and 7.
For those interested to read this rabbit journal can email me, i can rent it for u with free of charge.thank you.


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