Day 22: Pesky Rabbit

I’ve never eaten rabbit and I attribute it to having a pet rabbit, Honey Bunny, when I was younger. I thought it unjust to take a fork to a rabbit when I’d play with another at home. Fast-forward more than a decade, and I’m a total hypocrite as I take a butchering knife to a bunny carcass.

The bunny carcass I quartered

The most striking thing about a butchered rabbit is the smell. It has a foul odor—one that lingers on your skin long after you’ve finished handling it. As for taste, well, I’m not sure if I could distinguish it from chicken. (I even attended a butchery workshop at the school and the butcher titled it, “The Rich Man’s Chicken.”)

We browned the legs and finished them in the oven, but for the loins, we took this cutlet-type cut, and stuffed it with sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Then we rolled it in caul fat to keep it together. If you’ve never heard of caul fat, it’s basically the fatty web-like lining of an animal’s abdominal cavity.

Caul fat, the membrane lining of an animals abdominal cavity

Armando, my newest station partner, rolling his rabbit in caul fat

Rabbit stuffed with olives and sun-dried tomatoes

Our second dish was a braised lamb shank so big it looked like something you’d see Fred Flinstone eat. And that’s exactly the portion I dream of.

Scrumptious lamb shanks

 TIP OF THE DAY: If you’re browning meat, you want a screaming hot pan and a neutral oil like vegetable oil because it won’t degrade at high heat. When you place your meat in the pan, it should hiss and sizzle. If it doesn’t, your pan isn’t hot enough. Test the temperature with a piece of onion. It should hiss and immediately brown. Once you’re at that stage, throw in your meat. When you get a nice brown, slightly lower your heat so your meat doesn’t burn.

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