Rabbit used to be a much more commonly eaten meat in Slovakia, when most people kept a pig, rabbits, and chickens in their backyard. Today it is still eaten although not as much.
I know, rabbits are these soft cuddly sweet animals. Well, sometimes sweet. My in laws once had their rabbits stolen except for one, and when my husband opened the door he quickly learned why as the rabbit lunged toward him with teeth bared and claws at the ready.
We once had a rabbit that was given to us, as it had been sold as a small pet rabbit but was obviously a very large meat rabbit. It kept growing and growing, and I got tired of having one more thing to take care of. An American friend came to visit and asked if we still had the rabbit. My oldest, about four at the time, answered frankly, “No, we ate him.”
Rabbit is a lean meat, and as such can tend towards being dry. What’s the secret to succulent tender baked rabbit? Bacon of course! A long slow bake rather than a fast quick one also helps.
Honestly, this Slovak style of roast rabbit is even easier to put together than baked chicken, especially cutting it apart.
- 1 rabbit
- 4 cloves garlic
- 150g (5oz) bacon
- 1/2 cup water
- Wash rabbit and cut apart - each of the legs, then the body in half crossways and again lengthwise down one side of the spine.
- Lightly rub salt on each piece and place into casserole dish or roasting pan with water.
- Sprinkle garlic on meat, then lay bacon over top.
- Bake at 350F/180C for about two hours, basting every once in a while.
- To give rabbit some colour, push bacon to the sides and bake another 15 min.
- You can make gravy with the juices if desired.
- Serve hot.