Eat Small: Roasted Rabbit with Gravy

Alex Palzewicz, Eat Local, Environment, Find Local Food, Proteins, Recipes, Specialty Producers

In 2017, Tim & Naomi decided to start the Happy Hoppers Organic Rabbit Farm. They both grew up with rabbits so it was a natural fit. Originally, they decided to have rabbits for meat, pelts and compost. Rabbit compost is one of the only fresh composts you can put directly on your garden, without it burning your plants. Also, it’s high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which makes it perfect for great growth!

But rabbits are so much more than just compost and a great protein source, they are cute, clean, quiet and make great house pets, not to mention, they truly do multiply like rabbits! The couple has been truly humbled by the support of their community and now supply over 10 families with Rabbit as a superior protein. They are also in the process of becoming USDA certified organic.

Tim and Naomi don’t stop there, also are educating youth about what they do, starting Happy Hoppers 4-H Club. Their club is rabbit-based but plans to learn about all animals to give everyone a full circle view of the animals, their lives and their purpose. The couple is looking forward to sharing their rabbit and outdoor knowledge with the generations to come, while empowering them to be more sustainable, eco-minded and self sufficient individuals.

This recipe is from our friends and new partners in the Upper Peninsula, Happy Hoppers!

Roasted Rabbit with Gravy Recipe

Roast

• two, 3lb rabbits (feeds 8-10 people)
• 3 lbs of fingerling potatoes
• bunch of carrots
• apple or two, large dice
• two heads of garlic
• pint of chicken stock
• sage
• rosemary
• thyme
• oregano  
• salt & pepper
• ½ stick of butter

Cover the bottom of a large roaster with the fingerlings, carrots and apple. Place in the rabbits, add a half a stick of butter, garlic and herbs. Pour stock over all of it and cover. Bake for 3 hours at 300. Baste the rabbits every 20-30 minutes.

Gravy

• 2 tbsp butter
• 2 tbsp flour
• 1 cup of milk
• 1 cup of stock (from the rabbit)
• 2 roasted garlic cloves (from the rabbit)

To make the rue, melt the butter and flour in a saucepan whisk until it makes a light paste. Add the roasted garlic cloves and add the milk slowly while whisking. Simmer until thick then add in the rabbit stock and simmer a few more minutes while whisking.

By this point your rabbits shall be deliciously tender, falling off the bone and ready to enjoy.

Naomi and Alex are both UP State Fair Participant Alumni in the rabbit department, and we can’t wait to share more recipes and information of the versatility and importance of rabbits! Want to learn more? E-mail alex@localdifference.org to get connected!                

Check out why you should eat more small proteins here.

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