This afternoon Joe & I went out on to the Shoshone National Forest to get our Christmas tree. For a $8 permit, we can go out into the forest and pick our own, which is even more exciting since this is the first tree of our own, ever! The past two years our rental was too small, and the three years before that we lived at Brooks Lake Lodge and got to enjoy the Lodge’s tree, but not one in our house.
Despite the fact that is was only 7 degrees with a wind chill of -18, that has been the norm around this part of Wyoming since last Tuesday. Several days it never got above 0. Two mornings this past week we woke up to the house thermometer reading 46 degrees. Yeah…a bit chilly once the woodstove dies, even with the electric heat on. Anyway, we found a nice tree that we were able to get to through knee-high snow, and were only a short walk from the pick up.
On the way home, we called ahead for permission and stopped at a friend’s ranch to hunt for dinner for the evening. I have never eaten rabbit before, and Joe decided it was time that I tried it. After a five minute walk around the ranch’s scrap yard, one appeared. Joe has a lifetime small game license, so rabbit hunting can be done on the spur of the moment, like today. After harvesting the rabbit with his .22, he quickly gutted it and we headed home with the tree and dinner in the back of the truck.
From start to finish, here is how to do it yourself:
Slow Cooker Wild Rabbit with Mushroom Sauce
- 1 cottontail rabbit
- 1 can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup
- 1/2 cup water
- ~1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
- ~1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
- ~1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- Skin, gut, butcher, and clean rabbit so that you have separated the front legs, back legs, and back strap.
- Place into slow cooker.
- Pour cream of mushroom soup over rabbit.
- Season with a few good shakes of garlic salt and chili powder, and a smaller shake of cayenne pepper. (I did NOT measure my spices, so please adjust according to your taste.)
- Pour 1/2 cup water over top.
- Cook for 4 hours on HIGH until meat is fork-tender.
- Serve with sauce from the crock pot over top.
Skin and gut the rabbit: First, remove head. Begin skinning by making an incision by the hock on the back feet and peel away fur downward toward neck until it is removed.
Once skinned, proceed to gut the rabbit like you would a large game animal, starting by making a cut through the center of chest cavity. Once animal is gutted, head home to prepare for cooking.
Butcher the rabbit and separate it into pieces so that you have the rear legs, front legs, and back strap. Wash with cold water to remove any fur.
Cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Serve immediately with mushroom sauce from slow cooker over top.
I though the rabbit was very good overall. It was also extremely fresh, and a nice meal for a Sunday dinner. The back strap was just a little bit chewy, but the back leg was very tender, like chicken, and I picked the bone clean. The mushroom sauce was flavorful but not overwhelming. For my first experience eating rabbit, it was a good one.
Hope you have a relaxing Sunday evening.
I would also love to hear from you if you have ever eaten rabbit, and if so, how you prepared it!