Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CANADA
I have 2 bunnies that are the survivors from my survivors from my little I lost in the heat a few weeks back. I am planning on butchering them today. Can we eat one for supper tonight? Or is it best to let them rest a day or two?
What is their age? I would think if no more than 8 weeks old, you could go straight to the frying pan. If you're going to boil them and/or use the crock pot, then I definitely think you could cook it today. I have no idea if it makes a difference for sure, but I have found that brining in salt water great to use for turkey and for chicken, so I am in the habit of brining the rabbits too. It is convenient for me as I can put them in the fridge and let them sit a day or so and then package them for freezing. This allows me to split the work of butchering to a different day than getting them to the freezer.
If you can get the rabbit into the pan while it is still limber (before rigor mortis sets in) it will be fine. Process it asap and rinse in warm water instead of cold... and then into the pot. If rigor sets in before you can cook it, it is best to let it rest in the fridge for 2-5 days, until rigor has passed.
__________________ RabbitTalk Rabbits for profit... Rabbits for fun... Rabbits for just about everyone...
What's artificial about brining (I usually don't)?
Does any meat in Nature gets brined before being eaten?
Maybe only if there is a big qty of meat the Indians and other native people developed ways of preserving it with salt/smoke/dry .......
I just butchered and wife cut it in pieces and cooked it for dinner.
But I do want to brine pork and we brine fish.
I've grilled them shortly(within 30 minutes) after hubby has dressed them.
I've cooked them after they've been in the freezer 2 days, freezer 4 months(only because I wasn't going to eat them right away, not for meat taste difference).
I've never noticed a difference.
I don't brine or soak mine in milk.When I was a kid and my dad hunted we did this to get the "gamey" taste out of meat, however mine are raised on pellets,hay/straw, and occasional vegetation and they don't taste gamey to me(they taste more like chicken breast).
So this thread is interesting,I didn't know it made a difference.
"The good you do today will often be forgotten,Do good anyway"-Mother Teresa
From a strictly culinary point of view I like to brine to make sure the meat is really nice and juicy and if I want to infuse a flavor before smoking. Though I do it before I cook instead of before I freeze. I had always heard you want to either eat it right away (which I've never done) or let it rest 24hrs to beat out the rigor mortis (which is what we do with chickens or our rabbits we hope to get someday soon).
So you can brine while you let it rest and then it's all nice and ready when you defrost it later? I might be changing my procedure...
I find that brining while it rests enhances the flavor and the meat is ready to cook right out of the freezer. I could brine after freezing, but brining while it rests seems like a more efficient use of time.
For me, deboning and cubing is easier when the meat is slightly frozen. I like to grill mine on skewers with various veggies. The bones, ribs and leftover meat bits go to the dogs raw.
Otherwise, the whole thing goes in a pressure cooker prior to deboning for casseroles and whatnot. In that case, the bones go in the trash.
I soak my rabbits and squirrels in salt water over night just to get the blood out. Other than that there is no reason to soak them in salt water (brine). When you butcher a tame rabbit you are bleeding it out when you cut it's head off, right after stunning it. That doesn't happen when you shoot wild game, so you soak it. The difference in salt content inside the animal as compared to the salt water draws out the blood.
You can also soak venison if it wasn't bled out well and is real red. Also, don't mind soaking some of the blood and other bad stuff out of liver before I cook it.
I have tried brining once or twice a long time ago. Didn't make any difference in flavor, just was more trouble and took up room in our fridge. Now we process and freeze immediately. Usually if we're going to eat what we butchered, we do so when we're all done with butchering all the , and then start cooking after we're all cleaned up. No texture or taste problems whatsoever. We bleed them out so no issues with too much blood in the body to require a brine soak, unlike hunted animals.
We usually butcher in the 20-30 of rabbits per butchering day, and usually around 50 chickens when we do a batch. Usually we have rabbit or chicken for dinner that night. Depending on when we get done with clean up and butchering, some of those carcasses could be anywhere from half an hour to a couple hours after death.
Good lord, MyGoat, we are a tiny operation compared to you! I hope to get there though.
I always have brined to maintain moisture in the finished product, like before smoking a big pork butt or something like that. I actually did not know doing such was a guard against a 'gamey' taste or blood in the meat. Similar to rinsing fresh catfish in buttermilk I guess?