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Houseplant

Last word on hanging rabbits?

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What do you think about hanging rabbits? To be honest, I never really enjoyed eating them, but want to give it another go. I have a spare fridge which would serve as a chiller. I was thinking guts out and skin on, hung for a few days. Will it help to tenderise the meat? Will it make them stronger tasting (I hope not)? Cheers. 

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Not something I've ever done with rabbit, I like them skinned and left in the fridge over night and then cooked and eaten. I have left hares hanging (obviously dead ones)... 

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Reading the title I was going to say can you hang them for treason, I have only had them fresh or frozen. 

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I'd guess, like deer if you can keep them around the 4 degrees mark that hanging as you describe should help to tenderise them. If the guts are out the flavour shouldn't get any stronger, you can soften the flavour by brining overnight as well. 

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Never hung rabbit, always fresh (next day or two) or from frozen.

As ClemFandango said, leaving overnight in salted water (brining) does soften the flavour.

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hello, it was common a few years back to see rabbits and hares hanging in a game butchers, most i knew never did with rabbits it was skinned and gutted and straight in the pot, hares we did hang a few days, but not to every ones taste, i do not think many shot in UK now, may be different in NZ

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A reasonable time in a cooler will do no harm. I don't eat them these days as I was almost force fed on rabbit back in the late 40s during and after WW2.  Hares basically the same and I have used hare meat in game pies which I make with a mixture of game and belly pork and raise a hot crust case as in traditional pork pies. Goes down great with a small tipple for 'elevensies'.

Any rabbits I do shoot get left for the buzzards and foxes to tidy up as if they eat a rabbit hopefully they will leave the game birds alone.

Your question brings back memories of following two truck fulls of carrots up into the hills in South Island and enquiring where they where going to be told they would be treated with poison and dropped by helicopter to kill the rabbits.   My guide Alan Simmonds pulled up alongside the road and papped his horn and the bank across the small valley moved. It was wall to wall rabbits.   Do they still hold the rabbit shooting team competitions? 

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8 hours ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

hello, it was common a few years back to see rabbits and hares hanging in a game butchers

Yes, I have those memories too, and probably the origin of my thoughts on the matter.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Walker570 said:

Your question brings back memories of following two truck fulls of carrots up into the hills in South Island and enquiring where they where going to be told they would be treated with poison and dropped by helicopter to kill the rabbits.   My guide Alan Simmonds pulled up alongside the road and papped his horn and the bank across the small valley moved. It was wall to wall rabbits.   Do they still hold the rabbit shooting team competitions? 

There is the easter bunny hunt down south. I think the record is over 20 000 rabbits shot in  24 period. We don't have those numbers in the far north, but anecdotally, I think numbers are increasing despite the release of viruses and use of poisons. 

ov1labll.szj.jpg

 

Edited by Houseplant

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10 hours ago, Houseplant said:

There is the easter bunny hunt down south. I think the record is over 20 000 rabbits shot in  24 period. We don't have those numbers in the far north, but anecdotally, I think numbers are increasing despite the release of viruses and use of poisons. 

ov1labll.szj.jpg

 

Incredible numbers. Struggling to identify animals in bottom left of picture? Wallabies??

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Nope.  Squeeze and gut them as soon after shooting as possible, and then I skin the following day, temperature permitting.

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If you remove the scent glands it helps reduce the taint from those. I refer to the pair of bean shaped glands either side of the anus.

My preferred method is to cut off the back legs by following the joint. I then cut the saddle off the pelvis, discarding the pelvis along with the glands.

A brief soak in water with a splash of white wine vinegar can also help in addition to the above.

I hate soaking it in brine, ruins it for my palate. 

I have hung rabbits but only overnight in the garage in winter and that's only when pushed for time on the day they were shot.

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Thanks John. I've done something similar with the last few hares I've shot. Skinned, back legs off and remove the back straps. I discard the rest and don't go anywhere near the guts.  

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7 hours ago, John_R said:

If you remove the scent glands it helps reduce the taint from those. I refer to the pair of bean shaped glands either side of the anus.

My preferred method is to cut off the back legs by following the joint. I then cut the saddle off the pelvis, discarding the pelvis along with the glands.

A brief soak in water with a splash of white wine vinegar can also help in addition to the above.

I hate soaking it in brine, ruins it for my palate. 

I have hung rabbits but only overnight in the garage in winter and that's only when pushed for time on the day they were shot.

I've also heard of people soaking in milk instead of brine. Brine works better for me

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I've had some success with other game meats soaked overnight in buttermilk substitute (full fat milk mixed with a small volume of lemon juice). It definitely works.

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Posted (edited)

Soak most of my game meats in red wine and a mix of other good things including Tony C's Cajun mix.  Do not recolect ever having a bad piece of game meat ever.  Some of the very best was roast Nilgai loin....no soaking just hung in a cooler just above freezing, till the meat was very dark purple near black on the outside. Cut off the thin crust and roast wrapped in smoked bacon.  A good Texan bottle of red to wash it down.  Yes, they make some excellent wines in Texas.

Marinated partridge crowns for supper tonight.

Edited by Walker570

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My gran always blanched rabbit and hare before doing anything else with it. 

Made it tender and took that strong taste off it.

Stunk the place out mind blanching them.

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Posted (edited)

when I was a youngster before fridges / freezers were available at home,  when we shot rabbits first squeeze the bladder  shoot enough for a family  meal or two  then gut them in the field,  when home livers out and fried for breakfast , carcases hung in a cold room/ dairy (a concrete building underground) for a day or two depending on weather then shin out etc, and soak in salted water for a few hours before cooking 

the rabbits were shot with a shotgun so stomach juices can taint the meat , so a teaspoon of salt in the water enough to submerge the rabbits in a bucket , cleans the meat up and no salty taste when cooked  

the longer you can hang any meat the more tender it gets and the flavour is better and melts in your mouth 

hares were shot well into  the game season , using the same process and hung for a week or two,  if really cold longer 

both are really good in stews or casseroles for the cold months / summer rabbit on the bbq  or stir fry  or just fried joints in a skillet with butter 

Edited by Saltings

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