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How to cook the rabbit in all its parts: guide to the cuts – Italian Cuisine

How to cook the rabbit in all its parts: guide to the cuts

Among the meats less common but very tasty to be included in an omnivorous menu is that of rabbit. This mammal is slaughtered between two and six months, providing a tender, tender, fine-grained pink flesh with a delicate and almost fat-free taste. The most famous recipes are undoubtedly that of rabbit hunter and that of the ligures rabbit but thanks to the different cuts on the market it is possible to cook it in many recipes. Here are the main ones parts of the rabbit and how to use them in the kitchen.

Breeds and types on the market

THE rabbits which are on the market are mostly of Italian origin, coming from farms found in almost all regions of Italy. Those most suited to this type of meat are Veneto, Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Marche.

One of these animals is distinguished wild breed it's a housekeeper, which descends from the first: both provide excellent meat.

How to clean and cook a whole rabbit

You can buy a rabbit full or in pieces. In the first case the age of the animal never exceeds five months of life, to guarantee the presence of very tender, pinkish and less charged odors.

To check the young age of the animal, just look at the state of the animals teeth: they must be short. Furthermore, the front legs must be flexible and have rosy joints. Rabbits that have reached 8 months of life, if put on sale weigh over 2.3 kilograms and have a more fibrous and less tender pulp.

How to cut a whole rabbit into pieces

If you are buying a whole rabbit and you do not want to cook it as such, it is advisable to have the animal portioned directly by the butcher, to avoid damaging the individual cuts of meat. However, if you have the right tools, you can try to divide it into parts even at home.

Put the rabbit on work plan with the back facing down. Starting from the back and from the thighs, incise the meat following the bone line, using a boning knife or a small cleaver. Pull the thigh in the opposite direction and, with the knife, cut the pulp under the lumbar vertebrae. At this point, make an incision along the bone and use the tip of the knife to detach it.

On the side front make a cut just below the shoulder so you can detach it from the rest of your body. Cut the part of the bacon: pull the pulp with your left hand and continue cutting with your right. Cut the second thigh and remove the entrails. Then switch to the second shoulder in the same way as the first.

Finally, the back. Make small cuts with the tip of the knife to remove the meat from the bones. Help yourself with fingertips.

Traditional split front and rear

As we have seen, the rabbit should be portioned dividing the front from the back. It is necessary to separate the two hind legs from the two front legs, then dividing them into thighs and thighs. The most consumed cuts are the saddle, corresponding to the animal's back, shoulders and thighs.

How to cook a rabbit in parts

Normally the rabbit sold in supermarkets is already gutted. To prepare it for cooking, you just need to soften its flesh with milk: let the lean meat soak for a whole night. The best way to cook the various parts of the rabbit is to cook in the oven. You can use the pulp to prepare the stew.

Rabbit saddle

Also called sirloin steak, the saddle it is the central part of the rabbit's back, the one that includes the two threads. This piece is sold both whole and in slices (in this case we speak of lombatine). The two whole or sliced ​​fillets are also on sale, ideal for quick cooking in a pan.

If you bought a whole rabbit, you will need to bone the loin. Cut it in the middle, along the spine, then kicking the thin ribs with a small knife. Use the loin to make rolls flavored with aromatic herbs.


They are often sold together with neck is rib cage. It is a poor cut of pulp, little appreciated and little sold. These parts should be cooked in wet (for example with cherry tomatoes and fennel) with side dishes, such as mushrooms, olives and onions, which make the dish more consistent. It can be served with freshly made or toasted polenta or with egg tagliatelle to be seasoned with the appetizing sauce.

Carré and chest

These two parts can be boned to make lumbatins or gods small roasts to be stuffed with vegetables, herbs or even meat from other animals, such as salami or pork. The chest looks like a thin piece of meat, very often used to make rabbit sauce. Try it in these luscious ones lasagnette.

Rabbit thighs

The thighs they are the most muscular and tendon-rich part of the rabbit: for this you will need longer cooking times than other parts. You can get the thighs by buying the whole rabbit. Incise along the pelvic bone, before the pulp then the joint.

To make the pulp tastier and softer tried lardellatura: using a specific needle in which you have inserted strips of lard or bacon, "slips" the fat into the flesh of the thighs. Try the recipe of rabbit thighs with beer and cherry tomatoes.


These are two thin strips, which stand at the side of the saddle. They can be rolled together with it to make small stuffed roasts.


Unlike the head of the sheep and lamb, the rabbit's head is usually not used, but can be split in two to recover the small brain and insert it into the stuffed or in the ragout.

Generally with the offal of the rabbit you can do instead of the excellent recovery kitchen. For example, the liver it is very delicate and can even be appreciated by those who do not like this particular offal very much. To be fresh, it must be firm and shiny.

Also kidneys they must be firm, shiny and covered with fat: it is a very tasty cut, but very small. To be used in fillings and ragù. Heart is lungs, given their small size, they are almost never used.


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