Nose-to-Tail Rabbit

I'm an advocate of using every part of an ingredient. It's not as much about frugality but that I feel a responsibility not to waste anything. It's a challenge to figure out what to do with a whole animal, though, and I've found that learning how to butcher and use all the parts of a rabbit is a good way to start. Rabbit is the gateway to butchering: it's readily available, small enough to handle, and its anatomy scales up to the anatomy of a pig or a lamb. If you can butcher a rabbit, you can butcher the bigger animals, too; the cuts are the same. I make a dish out of rabbit wrapped in cabbage and speck that's a delicious way to utilize the entire animal. The leg and shoulder meat becomes a seasoned stuffing; the bones are boiled for stock; and the rest of the rabbit is roasted. From a purely ecological standpoint, when you look at the amount of land and food it takes to raise large animals like lamb, you see that rabbit is a sustainable item that's healthy, versatile, and not expensive, especially when you buy it whole. —Matthew Accarrino, SPQR, San Francisco

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