When I first saw Meat the Rabbit’s Facebook page, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. A new rabbit meat market just moved town? Not the case – Meat the Rabbit is a rabbit supplier for various meat markets around Indianapolis. This intrigued me as I knew I had to to get my hands on something unique like rabbit. It would mean that I’d have to learn new things, like butchering the rabbit, finding a way I wanted to prepare it and convincing John to eat it.
Rabbit is being integrated into the menu’s of local chefs at The Libertine, R Bistro, and Bluebeard, just to name a few, so I wanted to get in on this new trend in my own ways.
It was actually John who suggested fried rabbit with biscuits and gravy, whose grandma fixed it for him when he was little. Saying the words “fried” and “biscuits and gravy” is my kryptonite, so I had no problem coming up with a suitable recipe.
Instead of plain biscuits, I went for cheddar cheese ones, adding another layer of flavor to the dish.
Once I had the plan in place, I set out to find a rabbit. Archer’s Meats in Fishers just started carrying rabbit, so I made the trek to Fishers to find it. Upon walking in I asked for exactly what I was looking for, which was retrieved and handed to me with a card of two recipes, in case I needed some ideas of what to do. It was 3 1/2 pounds, roughly the same size as a small whole chicken that I get for chicken and noodles (which I’m making later this week). I purchased it for $20.76, more than what I would pay for a dinner that’s not a special occasion, however I knew that the meat was raised and processed locally, something I’m willing to pay more for.
The rabbit was frozen so I set it in the fridge to thaw for the next day, although if you don’t want to thaw it in water you should really allow two full days for the rabbit to defrost thoroughly.
Fried Rabbit with Gravy and Cheddar Cheese Biscuits
Ingredients for preparing the rabbit:
- One rabbit, 3 to 3 1/2 pounds
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3 heaping tablespoons bacon fat
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cups milk
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
Butcher down the rabbit into 4 legs, rabbit “bacon” from the side of the animal and the rib meat cuts. Grab a large stock pot and set the rabbit cuts inside, filling with water until 3/4 full. Boil the rabbit for 20 minutes or until cooked to 160 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, white pepper and kosher salt together with a fork. Place cooked rabbit pieces in the flour and coat on all sides.
In an iron skillet, heat up the bacon fat and the butter on medium high heat. Add the rabbit and cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping over to each side, until browned. Remove and set aside. These were the front legs, slightly smaller than the back ones.
Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the skillet. Add the flour and whisk, picking up all the brown bits from the pan. Add the milk and continue to whisk, cooking gravy over medium-high heat and bubbly for 2-3 minutes. Season with good pinches of salt and pepper, tasting and seasoning until to your liking. Add more milk if you need to thin it out.
Serve the rabbit with the cheddar cheese biscuits on a plate, pouring spoonfuls of gravy on top. Hey, nobody said this had to be a healthy meal, so enjoy the fact that you just cooked rabbit and it was good.
Recipe for Cheddar Cheese Biscuits
Makes 12 biscuits
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 6 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp shortening
- 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, finely shredded
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 egg
- Splash of whole milk
In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder and kosher salt. In another bowl, shred the cheese. Cut the butter into cubes and place in a small bowl with the shortening. Put these three bowls in your refrigerator for 30 minutes to cool.
Once chilled, add them all to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until butter and shortening have incorporated and the consistency is crumbly.
Pour in the whole milk slowly, until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Flour your surface and dump out the dough from the mixing bowl. Knead with your hands until the dough is mostly incorporated, then roll out into a long rectangle until it is about 3/4 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, stamp out circles and set them aside on a silicone-matted baking sheet. Rework the dough scraps, forming more biscuits. Work fast so the dough stays cold. I ended up with 12 biscuits.
I made the biscuits and put the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about two hours because I made the biscuits before I started the rabbit. These biscuits don’t need to rise, so you can make them immediately, chill in the fridge or freeze them.
When you’re ready to bake the biscuits, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the egg and splash of milk to create an egg wash. Brush the biscuits with the wash.
Bake the biscuits for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Leftovers make great breakfast sandwiches.
Disclosure: Meat the Rabbit compensated me for the ingredients to prepare this recipe and write this post. Words coming from my tastebuds, experiences and photos are all my own opinion, which is that Meat the Rabbit rocks and you should try their rabbit.