How to joint a rabbit

If you’re waiting for ‘a week of…’ post you’ll have to wait until tomorrow – sorry, just to many parties 🙂

Instead let’s have a tutorial.  Please note: not a vegan or vegetarian tutorial!

A few weeks ago I showed you that I bought a rabbit from the Farmer’s Market.  Don’t worry, it hasn’t been sat in my fridge all that time, I just haven’t gotten around to writing the post.  Plus I’m sort of afraid my sister will find out I cooked a rabbit.

She doesn’t read my blog though 🙂

Rabbit is a healthy meat – It has been said to be the healthiest meat known to man.  I wouldn’t necessarily say that, but it is low in fat and cholesterol, but high in protein and a very good source of vitamin B12.

I had been told that rabbit does better in a stew rather than roasting it, so I needed to joint it first.  I was a bit intimidated by it to be honest.  But I took a Sunday afternoon, and got to jointing it.

There are plenty of online tutorials, try this one from Jamie Oliver (because I have a bit of a crush on him.)

But it wasn’t easy to watch a video and work at the same time – you can’t really press pause when you have your hands in a rabbit (sorry).  So I read and watched a few online tutorials, and then got on with it.

jointing, rabbit, loin, dissecting,

jointing a rabbit

You can see how nervous I look!

I found the tutorial from River Cottage quite helpful!

I’m not going to go into full detail here. It was tricky to take enought photos to explain – you know what they say “a picture paints a thousand words” – and Ben didn’t have the patience or the stomach to stay with me, making excuses to leave.

jointing a rabbit, rabbit, joint, legs, loin, saddleI started by removing the front legs, and placing them to one side for stock.  I removed the muscle covering the ribs to expose the saddle/loin.  I cut along the backbone to remove the ribs, and reserved them for stock.  Finally I removed the hind legs.  Slice through the flesh to see the bone, and the leg should twist out of the joint (sorry if you are squeamish – I get it, but my Dad was the son of a butcher so I’m quite immune).

I decided to remove the flesh from the loin – but you could leave it on and cook as it is.

The front legs don’t have much meat on them – they are better for stock.  The best bits are the hind legs and the loin.  You can get a good bit of meat from them – it served us for a couple of days.

I stewed the joints in cider, and then turned half into a pie for Ben while I ate mine with vegetables and pearl barley (see, it was before the detox).

rabbit, cider, pie,

Rabbit and cider pie with mash and broccoli

One thing to watch out for when buying rabbit, is whether is was shot or caught in a trap.  If it was shot, beware pieces of shot – My Dad bought one of those when I was young and you had to be really careful not to chew on a piece.  I hadn’t thought about it – but thankfully ours didn’t have any.

Have you ever jointed your dinner?  What cooking/preparations intimidates you?


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