Hunt Gather Talk Episode 5: All About Rabbits
February 15, 2016 | Updated October 14, 2019
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In this episode of Hunt Gather Talk, I talk with Chef Randy King of Idaho, a friend and hunting partner of mine, about all things rabbit: From hunting and cleaning them to cooking techniques, so-called “rabbit sickness” and especially the unloved jackrabbit.
Randy is a great chef and hunter who lives near Boise. He and I share a love for the lowly jackrabbit, and we will do our best to convince you that they are indeed good eating.
Randy, if you don’t know him, is the author of the book Chef in the Wild: Reflections and Recipes from a True Wilderness Chef and the website Chef in the Wild.
This is a single-subject episode, so if you are into rabbits and hares, you are in luck!
Here are some links for further information on this week’s episode:
- My recipe for buttermilk fried rabbit. It’s tried and true and will not fail you!
- Randy’s recipe for pressure-canned jackrabbit, which works with all sorts of game.
- How to cut up a rabbit for cooking.
- My recipe for Sardinian Hare Stew, made famous by Steve Rinella on Meateater.
- Randy’s take on a classic, Rabbit with Mustard Sauce.
That should get you started. If you want more, here are all my rabbit and hare recipes.
Enjoy this week’s podcast, and, as always, if you like it, please subscribe and leave a review. It helps me a lot. Thanks!
Thanks Hank, currently in southern Utah and planning to hunt some Jack Rabbits. The podcast was awesome and great insight from Randy and yourself as usual.
I realy enjoy reading your podcast. It is quite interesting and provides me with lots of knowledge. Wish you can make this better in the future.
I just found your podcast and this is one of the best I’ve heard. I like the banter, the topic, and the presentation. The focus on hunting as well as cooking is great without any macho man BS. I’m sorry to see I missed the boat by two years, but I hope you put in the effort to produce it again one day!
Clark: I am indeed reviving the podcast! I have interviews scheduled this month and I plan on restarting Hunt Gather Talk this summer.
Very informative podcast. I, too, suffer from a bias against jackrabbits as table fare. I have no idea where I got this bias, but I will use my newfound knowledge of proper field care and cooking to get the American hare to my family’s table. Interestingly, my uncle and cousin in Denmark hunt and eat the Danish variety. During a visit this summer, my family would check the low green fields for hares. My mom’s home town was the only area where they were consistently visible from the road.
I had to laugh when I checked out the Wikipedia entry for Lepus europaeus; they look just like a jack with shorter ears. The Wikipedia entry also had this: “Hare is traditionally cooked by jugging: a whole hare is cut into pieces, marinated and cooked slowly with red wine and juniper berries in a tall jug that stands in a pan of water. It is traditionally served with (or briefly cooked with) the hare’s blood and port wine.” Why the tall jug, I wonder?
I’m in agreement with Hank. I’ve also never had a snowshoe hare taste very strong. In fact I’ve had the opposite experience and have found them to be the lightest in flavor in comparison to cottontail, jacks, etc. Maybe you should try to do a chilindron recipe. Hank has a good one. Or slow cook with some spices and bay leaves, and replace liquids with another stock after a while. Then use the meat in almost any dish heavy in pepper and acids from a tomato base, or wine. That should take the flavor of the meat down a bit.
Hank I love your website. I had to research the botfly larva you mentioned on your podcast and I have to say, “WTF!!!!!”. I watched some disgusting videos on YouTube showing humans having the larva removed and almost got sick. I believe I will be having nightmares of this.
I learn something new everytime I visit your website. Though in this botfly case, ignorance was bliss.
Hi Hank, I love your blog and love that you have started doing the podcast, my husband and I listen to it on our commute to work.
I am wondering if you have any suggestion for particularly strong tasting snowshoe hares. We got the ares last fall up here in the Yukon where we live. All were clean headshots and were cleaned promptly. All animals seemed in good condition. We cut them into shoulders, saddles and hind quarters. The first recipes I tried were the Sichuan rabbit and braised rabbit with garlic they were good recipes but the taste of the rabbit was completely overpowering, even in the Sichuan recipe. Next I tried a Hasenpfeffer recipe. I soaked the rabbit in wine for a full two weeks. I discarded all the wine and vegetables that the rabbit had soaked in and cooked the meat for a long while in new wine. Still the taste of the meat overwhelmed any other flavor of wine, pepper or vegetable. I am an adventurous eater, I eat game meat often and am not squeamish about offal or new foods. I just can’t seem to get this rabbit right! I have already cooked the rest of the shoulder pieces for the dog, and have just hind and saddle pieces left. I ate rabbit as a kid fairly often, but this seems to be completely different. Why is this rabbit so strong? Do you have any other suggestions on how to tame the flavor? I appreciate any tips!
Valerie: Are you sure they aren’t Arctic hares? I have never had a strong tasting snowshoe hare. Or maybe they are white tailed jackrabbits? They can be strong. Huh. It’s a mystery…
Great episode. I didn’t hear anything sexist in your commentary… Just lots of inspiration to get out there and get some rabbits!
Thanks for putting this kind of smart hunting information out there.
Hank, funny that your first rabbit was in a woodlot south of Saint Paul at the age of 32. I’m from CA, but I briefly lived in MPLS around the age of 30. My first rabbit came from a small woodlot south of Saint Paul. It was 0 degrees that day and I popped a squirrel and a rabbit.
I love the part about boys killing stuff with what they have at hand. I was in maybe the 5th grade and had to deliver the weekly shopper paper. I saw a bunny sitting near the sidewalk in someone’s lawn. I chucked a shopper at the poor bunny, nailed it, and it spun up in the air. By the time I got to it, it was stone cold dead. I put it in my newspaper bag and pedaled away!
yes, the thing about not eating jackrabbits. Im from europe and everyone loves them here.
Thanks for morning inspiration the rabbit cycle is on its upward incline from lowest point being two years ago , so I am excited to get out hunting them again. I found the later half of podcast to be more informative .I would of like to hear more about the cycles of population since its a point of frustration. For myself . also just as a suggestion to your podcast partner ; you should be more careful with your sexist opinions about girls hunting . I would like to see more women be encouraged to hunt not shawdowed by past stereotypes. Specificly a easy entry level game such as rabbits should be looked at as a opportunity to get your wives and daughters interested and involved with your passions in hunting. Not trying to be criticizing but just a positive suggestion .
Lashellia: How on God’s Green Acre are we sexist about hunting? I think you are gravely misinterpreting what you heard. My most constant hunting partner is my girlfriend Holly, and we both do a great deal to get women into hunting.
Great podcast! I went out hog/ bobcat hunting this weekend and while unsuccessful in that quest got a good sized jack to try. Thanks for the inspiration!
here I very much welcome when hunting is not for fun but for something to eat.
Light bulb moment towards the end of this talk when y’all were talking about rabbit sickness. I’ve been learning about how we need some fat with our proteins source for proper digestion. Ah-ha!
Thanks for an interesting and informative talk.
Great stuff Hank, love the energy and love having these to listen to during the work day. Thanks for all you do!