One of my earliest exposures to hunting took place long before I was old enough to carry my own rifle or spend the weekend at deer camp; it was enjoying the wonderful dishes my family would prepare with wild game. Almost everyone I knew grew up eating venison, but an early favorite of mine was braised rabbit. My aunt made her living as a gourmet cook and was not in any way a hunter but if someone else bagged some game she was more than happy to put it to good use.
She usually made her rabbit in a well equipped kitchen with all the tools of someone who made their living in the kitchen. As much as I looked forward to these meals at the family table on a cold winter day I later developed a taste for fresher game meals – those prepared in camp using game taken earlier that same day. So, I’ve adapted her recipe to allow it to be made using your campfire, cabin fireplace or even a woodstove. No matter how you prepare it you will enjoy it even more knowing it is 100% your own doing.
If you’ve never tried your hand at cooking fresh wild game this recipe is an excellent starting place. Rabbit is easy to clean, easy to prepare and a little bit forgiving for the cook. Believe me, after tasting this you will never again pack dehydrated meals to camp again!
Dutch Oven Rabbit
1 medium onion – chopped
1 stalk celery – chopped
3 medium potatoes – cubed
3 carrots – chopped
1 rabbit – cut up
3 cups chicken stock
Salt & pepper to taste
Get your heat source good and hot.
Place oven directly over heat source, either on a grill or suspended from hook.
Once oven has reached high heat add small amount of oil, bacon and sauté until bacon fat begins to run.
Season rabbit on all sides with salt & pepper (or other preferred seasoning), brown rabbit on each side, remove and set aside.
Add vegetables and sauté until softened.
Return rabbit to oven, cover with stock and season to taste with salt & pepper.
Maintain a level necessary for a slow boil, stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Flip rabbit and continue to boil until rabbit is tender and falls from the bone.
If you do not plan on using your rabbit immediately, maybe you are saving it for a big send off the last night at camp, be sure to clean the rabbit as soon as possible. The cleaned rabbit should then be cut and stored on ice until needed. I also like to season the meat a few hours ahead of time, wrap in plastic and return to the ice until it’s time to cook.
Good luck & good hunting (and eating!)