This video was supposed to be an Easter video, what with the creepy idea of eating the Easter Bunny. But alas, that wasn't meant to be as the aunt who hosts Easter dinner came down with the flu, along with the rest of her household(not including the dog). So Easter dinner was rescheduled to a Mother's Day Dinner(which is ironic considering my own mother passed away 7 years ago. :( But at least my other cousins have living mothers.).
If you look at the date of when this video was uploaded(May 6), you'll notice it's before Mother's Day. Therefore, this isn't a Mother's Day video! I got two extra special videos in the pipeline for Mother's Day dinner coming up so stay tuned!
Besides, my extended family probably wouldn't have warmed up to the idea of eating rabbit anyway. One of my aunt's mothers has traumatic childhood memories of bunnies being slaughtered on her family's farm(no joke!). This is why she refuses to eat rabbits. Of course, one of my aunt's best friends has cooked rabbits before, so I guess both relatives cancel each other out.
The only people that ended up eating the rabbit was my dad and I(although if my grandma was still living with me, I probably would've pranked her by giving her a piece of rabbit meat and telling her it was chicken. After she would've eaten it, I would've told her she just ate a rabbit. Then she would've proceeded to call me a little stinker).
When I ate some of the rabbit after finishing recording this video, I gave my dad a piece of rabbit meat. He put it in his mouth and then spat it into the trash can. But the next day, when I ate some leftover rabbit meat for lunch, he liked the rabbit meat. Conclusion: he didn't wanted be reminded of the source of the meat- a stuffed, headless rabbit. But that's OK, for most people would rather eat meat that is detached from the actual animal from where the meat came from(with the exception of turkeys on Thanksgiving).
I got my rabbit from H Mart(that Korean supermarket chain) and I have to admit that even I was a little apprehensive about cooking this rabbit. I thought it would be super hard to find the abdominal cavity of the rabbit, but all you need to do is open the hindlegs(if you got the rabbit from a butcher. Otherwise, I can't help you on this one. Sorry.) and voila! You have the location of where to stick your meatloaf in(I apologize for any sexual innuendos this sentence may have triggered in your gutter minds.).
I wanted to use rabbit sausage in the meatloaf, but when I went to the local gourmet supermarket where it's usually sold, they didn't have it. So I bought the next craziest type of sausage- wild boar sausage, which ended up tasting like Thanksgiving stuffing for some reason.
If you have been following my videos, you may notice I usually use 93% ground beef. Yet in this video, I used 90% ground sirloin. That's because that was the leanest type of ground beef I had at the same supermarket I bought the wild boar sausage. You could use 93% ground beef and you'll still be fine. There will just be less fat from the beef during the necessary stovetop browning process.
As for the apple cranberry oatmeal packets, I used those in the meatloaf as an homage to the very first entree I made for my extended family during Easter 2015- a beef meatloaf with the apple cranberry oatmeal packets as the meatloaf binder. In fact, the beef meatloaf that I stuffed inside the rabbit was almost the same as that Easter 2015 meatloaf, save for different spices I used(the Easter 2015 meatloaf used paprika and cayenne pepper instead of basil, oregano, sage, and cilantro).
It's Cooking 101 not to cross contaminate raw meat with raw poultry. This is why I browned both the ground beef and the sausage(which came raw) before making the meatloaf and stuffing the rabbit.
Important basting technique: When you are roasting or cooking a whole animal(like a turkey, rabbit, or chicken), you don't want it to dry out in the oven, so you should pour wine on top of the meat before putting it in the oven. Then every 10 or 15 minutes, you should baste the meat, which basically means taking the meat out of the oven and spooning the liquid on top of the meat. At some point all the wine will have evaporated during the cooking period, which is why you should surround the meat with vegetables. These vegetables provide extra moisture to the dish when the wine has evaporated. Besides, a whole meat by itself in a pan is pretty lonely, in my opinion.
My initial plan was to surround the rabbit with canned yucca but the can was dented, so I had to dispose of it. Luckily, I had some frozen vegetables in the freezer. But I didn't want to cook it before putting it in the oven, which is why you should use the raw vegetables that come in those steamer packets. Those vegetables will cook anyway in the oven from a frozen state without the need of the a steamer bag.
This was also the first time I used butcher's twine(here's a helpful link on where to get it: http://www.amazon.com/Librett-Durables-Butchers-Cotton-185-Feet/dp/B000I1WNV0). Side note: butcher's twine makes for a great cat toy. At first, my dad thought butcher's twine couldn't be subjected to the high heat of an oven. Logically though, there's no point in using the twine if it can't be used in the oven, since you can't eat raw meat without getting sick(except for steak tartare). The butcher's twine blackens in the oven but it doesn't catch fire, so it's therefore oven-safe.
As for the taste of the rabbit, I can describe it as a leaner cut of chicken(if that is such a thing, considering chicken is considered to be a lean meat). But think of the taste as a watery, buttery version of chicken. That's how I would describe it to someone who has never ate rabbit meat.
Here's the recipe:
For the cooking equipment:
A frying pan
A large bowl
2 lasagna pans
A pastry brush
Butcher's twine(see helpful link)
For the meats:
1 pound of 90-93% ground beef
0.8 pounds exotic, raw sausage links of your choosing(I used wild boar, but you could use rabbit sausage. Just don't use frankfurters. That would be gross.), cut up into 1-inch pieces
Olive oil for browning the meats
A 1.5-3 pound rabbit, washed, skinned, cleaned, and headless
Other meatloaf ingredients:
2/3 tbsp. of onion powder
2 beaten and whisked eggs
1/2 cup of ketchup
Pinch of dill weed
Pinch of sage
Pinch of oregano
Pinch of basil
Pinch of cilantro
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of salt
2 packets of instant oatmeal(I used apple cranberry-flavored oatmeal, but you could use whatever flavor you like)
Spices inside the rabbit:
Ingredients surrounding the rabbit:
3/4 cups of a cooking wine(1 1/2 cups if your rabbit is over 3 pounds)(I used sake cooking wine, but white wine works too)
1 bag's worth of steamer frozen vegetables that have been removed from the bag(drained canned vegetables work too)
1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Once the oil is heated up, put your ground beef into the frying pan(I usually just take pieces of ground beef and put them in the frying pan so that they brown faster, rather than just putting the whole block of ground beef into the frying pan at once). Brown your ground beef by moving it around the frying pan, making sure the meat isn't pink or red at all! The meat has to be completely brown. Once that happens, put the browned, ground meat into a large bowl.
2. Either use a 2nd frying pan or rinse and wash your sole frying pan really well. Make sure the pan is completely dry because oil and water don't mix!
3. Pour olive oil into the dry, clean frying pan and heat the oil up. Once the oil is heated up, put the cut up sausage into the frying pan. Brown the sausage links by moving it around the frying pan and make sure none of the sausage pieces are pink in color. Once your sausage is browned, put that also into the large bowl.
4. Put all other meatloaf ingredients into the large bowl. Mix all the ingredients together until they are all distributed evenly among the cohesive mixture. Crumble the browned sausage links into a ground meat-like consistency when you're forming the meatloaf mixture.
5. Season the inside of the rabbit(just spread out the hindlegs of the rabbit) with oregano, cilantro, black pepper, and salt. Rub the spices into the meat. You want the spices rubbed into as much of the inside of the rabbit as possible.
6. Spoon your meatloaf mixture into the abdominal cavity of the rabbit and between the hindlegs. Reserve any remaining meatloaf mixture that doesn't fit into the rabbit(you definitely won't be able to put the entire mixture inside the rabbit).
7. Using butcher's twine, sew the hindlegs of the rabbit shut by making a knot with the twine. Think of it as tying shoelaces.
8. Spray a lasagna pan with nonstick cooking spray.
9. Put the stuffed rabbit into the lasagna pan.
10. Surround the rabbit with the canned or frozen vegetables of your choosing(I used a mixture of green beans, carrots, and corn).
11. Brush the outside of the rabbit with olive oil using a pastry brush.
12. Season the outside of the rabbit using basil, sage, dill weed, black pepper, and salt.
13. Pour the cooking wine on top of the rabbit.
14. Spray a second lasagna pan with nonstick cooking spray.
15. Form 2 loaves from the reserved meatloaf mixture.
16. Bake the meatloaves in a 400 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, just to make sure the raw egg is fully cooked. Any longer and the meatloaf will dry out. Yuck!
17. Cook the stuffed rabbit and vegetables also in a 400 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven, but for 60-90 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the hindlegs(using a meat thermometer) reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
18. Baste the rabbit every 15 minutes until it's done.
19. Let the rabbit rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
20. Bon appetit!