How to Skin and Clean a Rabbit — Steven Rinella MeatEater

I’m going to show what’s up with breaking down a cottontail rabbit. and making it, you know, totally ready for whatever kind of recipe you do. As an herbivore, they have a pretty big gut and they go–they get sour quick. So even if it’s cold out, like now, it’s below freezing, this thing would start to get–It would start to green up if you didn’t gut it right away. I’m going to totally clean him for cooking. I don’t need to worry about gutting him first. You just want to cut a notchinto the hide, right there. Now from thereI’m just gonna peel backundress that leg like a sock. Undress that leg,down to the last knuckle. Usually the tail stays on, grab that and just pluck that. Now, just pull down. Ok, at this point the hair’s been pulled offexcept for the feet. Now I just go throughand pop the joints. Pop the joint. Take the knife back out. There, there, there, there. Come insever the headOk, now he’s hairless but he still has his guts in him. Let’s make an incision right here at the base of the sternum. Lift that stuff up so you’re not cutting into the guts. A trick in guttingwhether you’re doing deer or anything,is when you get down to this area, in order to not snip the bladder and lower intestinejust grab the stuffand pull it upand clear that channel out, and you just put your knife in thereso split the pelvisjust take it up like this and reach up and grab the heartand all its little moorings, right here. Pull it free. You see the kidneys peel awayeverything down, and we already opened the pelvis so this is all going to be able to pass out clean. You can tell this is like a goodhealthy rabbit and he’s not had a hard winter because he still’s got fat on him. You check his liverno big white spots on it. Sometimes you hear of Tularemia, it’s a disease you can get cleaning rabbits even. If a rabbit has Tularemia it will have a heavily like a–sometimes a heavily spotted liver. He doesn’t have any on,looks healthy,and to part it outI’d do the rabbit so he’s in five pieces. Let’s take this flank here cut that up. Cut through the ribs. There’s not a lot of meat thereI’ll do one back leg,go like that. Pop the ball jointThere’s the two back legs, that’sthe bulk of your meat right there. Do the shoulders. I like to make it pan-sized more. Cut the whole saddleinto two piecesand that right thereis90% of rabbit recipes that I do. Like use these pieces as is. Always
cook rabbit on the bone. When you bone it out you just lose stuff. And one rabbit can feedIt’s a big meal for one person, it’s a light meal for two people.

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