I hesitated before writing this post, as I used to have two pet rabbits and I have never, nor would I, ever eat rabbit. It’s just not in my comfort zone at all.
Nevertheless, in reading through a lot of vintage and antique cookbooks, I came to the realization that the poor rabbit of yesteryear was frequently featured in cookbooks. Rabbit or hare (there are some differences), or the French “Lapin”, no matter what you call them, have been broiled, stewed, fricasseed, roasted, curried and filleted. Not to mention fried, jellied, baked, pot-pied and made into pudding and soup.
It doesn’t end there: the poor creatures have been French-stewed, boiled, skewered, smothered and surprised (Rabbits Surprised is a recipe I found in The Imperial and Royal Cook, by Frederick Nutt, published in 1809)
Rolled and stuffed like a sausage, made into salmagundy, there is nothing that hasn’t been done by some enterprising cook in cooking a rabbit (which makes me cringe). But a note of hope here for all the rabbits out there: Welsh rabbits may be safe from the evils of the kitchen, if they don’t get smothered with cheese.