How to... joint a rabbit
Written by Sean
A skill worth acquiring, butchers in this country don't do a particularly good job of this, in my opinion, and if you are obtaining your meat earlier in the supply chain then you'll have to do it yourself.
Introduction to jointing a Rabbit
There aren't any pictures to go with this, because I haven't got any. I hope it's clear enough anyway, but if it isn't please post a query in the forums.
What you need:
A rabbit, skinned - see Jonnyboy's article on how to paunch and skin a rabbit - http://www.downsizer.net/Projects/Wild_Food/Preparing_a_freshly_caught_rabbit/
A large, heavy sharp knife
A small sharp knife
A cleaver (optional)
What you do:
If the rabbit's head is still attached remove it with a single mighty blow. If you wish to add it to your stock-pot then cut it in half, and wash it well first.
Cut off each of the shoulders, and remove the spindly end bit from each one.
Cut through the ribcage about half way along. If you look and feel, you should be able to find the head end of the saddle (the meaty bit of the back), this is where you're aiming to cut.
Chop the ribcage, neck and shoulder joints into small pieces and add to your stockpile/pot.
Turn to the back end of the rabbit, and with the carcass back uppermost make an incision round the curved part at the top of the leg. This will reveal the hip joint. Cut through the ball and socket joint to detach the legs.
Chop the pelvis away from the bottom end of the saddle. Again, chop this up and add it to your stock.
The saddle is covered by a membrane, and you need to remove this. Use a small sharp knife, and lift it off in strips without cutting the meat.
Nearly there now. You should have two shoulders, two legs, and a whole saddle. You can either stop there, or divide the saddle into two or three with a cleaver, depending on what you are cooking.
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