Running from the Law: Thumper Hates Me

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thumper Hates Me

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, which begins on February 3, 2011 and ends on January 22, 2012.  The Rabbit is the fourth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 animals signs. According to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves. It is a time for negotiation. Don't try to force issues, because if you do you will ultimately fail. To gain the greatest benefits from this time, focus on home, family, security, diplomacy, and your relationships with women and children. Make it a goal to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle, so you will be able to calmly deal with any problem that may arise.

Perhaps in honor of the Chinese New Year (or perhaps because he wanted revenge for what they did to our garden this summer), Ryan brought home 5 wild rabbits that he shot over the weekend for us to cook for dinner.  Needless to say, I was thrilled.
And by thrilled, I mean horrified.
Poor poor bunnies. 
They didn't stand a chance. 
You'd think with a dog that likes to eat the heads off baby bunnies and husband that likes to shoot anything that moves, I'd be more used to bunny carcass.  But alas, I'm not.  It took everything I had not to cry.
Ryan was so excited about having the rabbit for dinner.  He'd been talking about it for days and almost had me convinced that they would be delicious.  I was skeptical but I went along with it.  I found a recipe online (here) for Belgian-style Rabbit, braised in beer, so I thought we'd give it a shot.  The recipe actually sounded pretty good and I was excited to try out something different and new.  However, just because I was ok cooking it, that didn't mean I was ok cutting it up into pieces (or Bunny McNuggets, as Ally so sweetly named them).  That job fell to the boys.  My brother Timmy and Ryan took care of breaking down the bunnies.

I sat on my stool at the counter and fought back tears.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before or not (probably not because I'm horribly horribly ashamed) but we had a bunny disaster a few years ago...on EASTER, of all days.  The Great Bunny Massacre of 2007 - Mally ate the heads off 5 baby bunnies.  It was a sad, sad day for me.  A day that will live in infamy.  Ryan couldn't have been more proud.  He mentioned that he should have saved the rabbit heads for Mally.   I was not amused.
Once the rabbit was in pieces (and no longer in actual bunny shape), I was much better. 
It might as well have been chicken at this point.
I fired up the dutch oven and melted some butter.
Browned the rabbit on both sides.
Removed it from the pan and set it aside.
Added the onions, a little garlic, some salt and pepper.
The recipe called for brown Belgian beer, but all I had was leftover Schlafly Pumpkin Ale.  I figured it would give the rabbit a nice flavor -  you can't go wrong with pumpkin.
I added the beer and then put the meat back in to braise/simmer for an hour.
Getting closer.
Almost ready. 
The sauce had reduced nicely and I added a pinch of sugar and then a little corn starch to make it into a thick gravy.
Served with some sauteed brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes and crescent rolls. 

Not bad.

Actually, it was better than not bad, it was good!

I'm pretty darn proud of myself for this one.

I think I'm going to like the Year of the Rabbit!

Have you ever eaten/cooked rabbit or something else outside your comfort zone?


  1. Kudos to you for preparing rabbit at home!!! I would never have the guts (I think the hardest part would be breaking it down before cooking for me, because I don't know where the joints are.) I have had rabbit a few times in restaurants---I like the taste, but the little bones are a little bit of a turn-off for me. It makes me think of eating a puppy. I know that's a horrible gross comparison but it's definitely in my mind.

  2. you are much braver than me. if boyfriend had come home with bunnies, i would have cried and left the house.

  3. I'll admit it...rabbit = delicious. Not sure I could have butchered it prior to cooking though. Good work!

  4. I've always heard that rabbit is really good! I always make KB cut up the animals too....I feel so bad when I can still make out what they used to be.

  5. O.M.G. I could barely look at those pictures! Of course, this is coming from a person who won't touch any raw meat! I do think it's awesome that you cooked it for your hubby though!

  6. Oh my gosh.

    Poor lil' Bunny Foo Foo.

  7. I haven't had rabbit in forever. I have a hunting/fishing husband and I don't touch anything that he brings home. He's responsible for that! ;-) We've got a freezer full of venison sausage right now.

    We had a bunny incident, too. Well, we always do. We have three cats. But, yeah, our bunny incident happened around Easter, too:

  8. hahahaha oh man. I have never actually had rabbit but your final product definitely looked enticing. Poor bunnies :{

  9. I have a rabbit in my basement for you. I admit I used to be over-sentimental about rabbits but then I've been taking care of this stupid rabbit in my basement for like, 14 years, and I'm so over them. So... next time you guys do this....

    But seriously, can you imagine living in pioneer days when you had to butcher all your own animals for dinner?? *shudder*

  10. Almost couldn't get through this post. I'm gonna go nuzzle my bunny now and let her know I will never do this to her. :-)

  11. Ha- these pictures made me laugh hysterically! I can do rabbit if it was already taken apart or broken down. Otherwise. . . i would have issues.

  12. I had to scroll REALLY REALLY fast past the pictures of the boys cutting up the bunny. Like you said, I would have no problem cooking it AFTER it no longer looked like a rabbit. That part I couldn't handle! Haha

  13. I love that the title of this post is "Thumper Hates Me"--you're welcome for that, by the way. I'm so glad you blogged about this--and made Ryan and Timmy cut up the bunnies. I'm telling you, next time, just sneak in some chicken and they won't know the difference.

    Also? Mally? Was not aware she was that much of a killer attack dog. I love her even more now.

  14. PS. I'm DYING that you found the recipe on a bowhunting website. This is why I love you.

  15. Yea, you're a very brave girl. It would have been "nothin doin!" for me. Thankfully Hubby isn't a very adventurous eater, so I'm usually convincing him to try exotic things like, say fondue. I actually got very lucky because I hate fish, and hubby is allergic, so I never have to smell or cook the stuff. Hooray for convenient food allergies!
    I totally sympathize on the Bunny Massacre. We used to have a beagle and also a family of bunnies that lived under our deck. Not a good combo. It was absolutely devastating the time she caught, maimed, but didn't kill a baby bunny and we just had to watch the poor thing suffer. Circle of life- you are a cruel mistress! :(

  16. Can you come to my house and cook it for me? Pretty, pretty please?

  17. You are so much braver than I am - both for dealing with the rabbit in its original state and for making the entire recipe! Looks like it turned out pretty well.

  18. You're a brave girl. I've eaten rabbit but I don't know if I could've handled seeing them whole - I can barely handle whole chicken! LOL Rabbit IS really good though.

  19. Oh... the finished product looked delish!! Yummm.

    Thanks for the comment on my blog too!

  20. You're a rockstar. There is no possible way I could do that!!

  21. This does look quite delicious. I think it would have been tougher for me to handle find Mally take 5 bunnies than to actually cook this meal. I'm proud of you.

  22. It looks so good! We cooked meaty meat the other day, i'm nothing close to a vegetarian but it was a bit ew. x hivennn