Is "aging" rabbit meat required? - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 07/31/07, 08:47 AM
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Is "aging" rabbit meat required?

O great rabbit gurus,

I know when I butcher chickens I leave them in the fridge for 48 hours or so, so that rigor mortis can pass and the meat gets tender again.

I butchered three rabbits this morning. Do I need to age the meat similarly or should I go ahead and freeze or can it?

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  #2  
Old 07/31/07, 09:08 AM
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Most all meats benefit from aging them.

http://www.tpwmagazine.com/archive/2005/nov/ed_3/

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Old 07/31/07, 09:33 AM
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Bearfootfarm, that was a very interesting article! It was educational and entertaining. Thanks for the good read. The rabbits will stay in the fridge at least 2 or 3 days.

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Old 07/31/07, 09:34 AM
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Good question and information.
I've wondered why our rabbit was a bit tough.

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Old 07/31/07, 09:39 AM
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SquashNut, I've also heard that rabbit can be tough because it has so little fat. Cooking slowly and with moisture is supposed to be good.

I've only cooked rabbit a few times. The hasenpfeffer recipe in the sticky at the top of the forum is to die for.

I've slow simmered rabbit in a big pot with carrots and onions, deboned, and stirred in commercial barbecue sauce. It took a LOT of sauce - the meat is dry even after simmering, somehow. I'm thinking maybe 1.5 bottles for 3 rabbits? The meat is so tender it shreds itself while you stir in the sauce. Freeze for sandwiches later.

I grilled the rabbit once, but marinated it a long time beforehand. It turned out good. I had grilled rabbit at a friend's house and it was like chewing on a tasty shoe.

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Old 08/01/07, 12:24 AM
 
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we moved 2 from the cage to the frige fri morning. we break them down to legs and back then throw them into a big bowl of salt water for 2 to 3 days then freeze or cook.

rm

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  #7  
Old 08/01/07, 05:14 AM
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We much prefer them aged, although it's difficult to convince hubby that 3 days is OK. We then vacuum seal ours to prevent freezer burn.

Accidentally discovered a great way to cook them. This weekend past I took two whole rabbits, thawed, soaked in salt water for about an hour or so. Then I took one, stuffed two whole sausages in the body cavity (honey garlic), wrapped the whole thing in tin foil, (did the same to the other) and cooked slowly on the barbeque. My goodness gracious! Can hardly wait to try with hot italian sausage!

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Old 08/01/07, 07:54 AM
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What's the purpose of soaking in salt water? Does it make the meat jucier and less dry?

Bernadette, that sounds really good!

Something I'm going to try, maybe with one of these three or more likely with one of the next batch, is to put the rabbit pieces along with some marinade into a foodsaver bag, vacuum seal, and freeze. Then when I take it out to thaw, it will marinade right in the bag. Should be pretty easy and no mess.

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Old 08/01/07, 02:38 PM
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The salt water soak, or brining, I read about here a while back. So I searched it on the internet and found a 'formula' or recipe. So much salt per so much water, then how long to soak per pound of meat. I just put about 1/2 cup pickling salt - it must be non-iodized salt - in water to cover and soak for about an hour or so. We find it makes the meat easier to get off the bone, the meat is very tender and moist. Whether that's the brining, or the fact that I now always cook rabbit 'sealed' in foil, or in liquid in a casserole or slow cooker. I also find the slower it's cooked the better it is.

Also, my favorite herb to use with rabbit is summer savory. Just seems to compliment.

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Old 08/01/07, 02:45 PM
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Webuy chicken breast in a salt brine and it is so tender you can cut it with a fork. Should work on Rabbit. I would think any sause with vinegar or lemon juice would tenderixe it as well.

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Old 08/02/07, 06:40 AM
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Interesting article, Bearfoot, thanks for posting the link.

Jennifer

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Old 08/02/07, 08:15 AM
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We always soaked venison in salt water or vinegar solution to help remove any excess blood that can cause an off flavor to the meat.
Don't forget, soaking in any fluid will "add water" to the product-- so if you are selling the processed meat, the customer needs to be aware of that fact.....

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  #13  
Old 08/02/07, 10:49 AM
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One other benefit from the salt soaking is it helps float any hair off the meat that may have stuck to it during butchering. It does take away some of the "natural " flavor

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  #14  
Old 08/02/07, 05:01 PM
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I age my rabbit, then we vacuum pack it. When I'm ready to cook, I defrost the rabbit, then I brine if that's what the cooking method I've decided on requires. Leaves my choices open, and ensures that my customers aren't paying for water when they purchase my rabbits.

A couple of links on brining.


http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/a...eat-moist.aspx

http://www.bbq-porch.org/brining00.htm

http://www.appetites.us/archives/000254.html

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