As mentioned in previous posts, we were asked to teach a class on using a ceramic cooker as part of a historical reenactment event focused on daily life tasks in the middle ages. We had found some recipes from period cookbooks and were set up cooking them on our Big Green Egg in preparation for our class, when the person teaching a class on butchering came up and asked us if we wanted to cook a rabbit she had just used for her demonstration. I had never cooked a rabbit before and wasn't quite sure what to do with it, but the chance to try some extremely fresh meat and something different at that was too good to pass up.
Since we weren't at home, I didn't have a lot of ingredients or spices with me, and I had to come up with something on the fly. Since rabbit is lean, I understand that the conventional wisdom is to add some fat to it, but we didn't have any oil, butter, or other appropriate fat with us. I did have a jar of my greek-style rub that I normally use for chicken, and decided to rub the rabbit with that, and cook it alongside a chicken I was also preparing. I wasn't sure what temperature to cook it at or how thoroughly to cook it. I ended up roasting it at 375 degrees Fahrenheit to an internal temperature of 160.
For having completely made it up on the fly, the rabbit was surprisingly good. The meat was really lean and clean tasting, with a nice smoke flavor from having been cooked on the Egg. Luckily, the meat didn't dry out, despite not having had any fat to add to it. The spice mixture turned out to be a good choice, as it added some flavor and spice to the meat without overpowering the taste. We ended up cutting it into small pieces so everyone attending could try a little, and everyone seemed to like it.
Simply Smoked Rabbit (serves 2)
- Big Green Egg or other smoker
Several chunks of apple or other fruit wood for smoking
Chopped fresh herbs, as garnish
Greek Style Rub
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Mix the spice rub ingredients together, and coat the meat to taste. There will probably be some leftover rub. Save it to use on a chicken or lamb dish.
- Prepare your smoker for indirect cooking at 375 degrees. On my large Big Green Egg, I set up with my plate setter legs up and a drip pan in the plate setter. I added several chunks of apple wood to the fire.
- Once the temperature stabilizes, put the rabbit in the smoker, and cook until the internal temperature of the meat hits 160 degrees. This took about 45 minutes on our cook, but the rabbit was cut into parts. If you have a whole rabbit, it might take a bit longer.
- Remove the meat from the smoker, allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, carve, sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs of your choice and serve.