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Apr. 2011: Cooking Rabbit

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April 2011
Where's My Hasenpfeffer?! Happy April everybody. This is the month that, around here at least, we consider to be the start of the true barbecue season. However, as most of you know, the weather over the past few months has been anything but spring-like. So, in order to give mother nature a bit of a shove, we've assembled all the barbecues in our warehouses, hooked them up to a fuel source and fired them all up. On 'high'. They've been blasting away on maximum power for weeks now. Hopefully this works because I can guarantee you we'll be getting a call from David Suzuki and I'll bet he'll be using his "off-air" vocabulary. With spring comes Easter and rejuvenation and all that business. Really, I guess what we're talking about here is 'breeding' (sure, lots of words could be used there instead of breeding - feel free to use your own). Considering that nothing breeds like a rabbit we've made cooking rabbit our theme for this issue of The Hot Line. Now, we're not cooking Hasenpfeffer on the barbecue - that's more of a 'cook it in a pot' kind of meal. But, since we brought it up did you know that Hasenpfeffer is referenced in the Laverne and Shirley theme song? I had NO idea that's what they were saying: "...5, 6, 7, 8, Schlemiel, Schlemazzle, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated". Jeesh. Crazy dames. Want to know more about wild rabbits and hares in Alberta? Check here. And what you need to know about Ontario's rabbit industry is here. The book of Leviticus in the bible says that the rabbit is unclean because it chews its cud and does not have a cloven hoof. I would have thought that it was the "they eat their own poo" issue that put the rabbit into the unclean category but you never know with old Leviticus.  
Trying to find rabbit can be a challenge. In Oakville, you can go to Florence Meats. In Burlington try Paul's Fish and Meat Market. In Calgary go to Bon Ton. You may want to call ahead. Did you know that a rabbit farm is called a "rabbitry"?The goal for a rabbitry is to raise a newborn rabbit to 2 1/2 - 3 pounds in 12 weeks.Meat rabbits are generally fed commercial rabbit pellets. Overfeeding is a major concern. According to 'Raising Rabbits': "If the buck is overweight, he will be lazy and sluggish and tire quickly. If the doe is overweight, she may be reluctant to mate...". Once again, we here at The Hot Line are providing you with information that you can use on a daily basis to improve your own lives. No, no need to write us and thank us. It is enough to serve.
And speaking of service... I'd like you to do us a favour, if you're shopping in our stores, take a minute and let us know how we're doing. If we're not meeting your expectations, let us know. We're human, we make mistakes. But, we're in the customer service business and we want to fix the mistakes we make. So, please tell us what we can do better. On the flip side, if we've done something right, we like to hear that too. Only, don't just tell us, tell the world!: use Google. Really, we'd appreciate some support on this.

Barbecue Tipster
Furniture Tip: If you want high quality patio furniture. Get it now. Seriously. Now. Not next week. We have limited stock available for immediate delivery. Of course, you can special order something from the factory at any time but be aware that lead times for that sort of order are about 8 weeks. And, in this part of the world, that's about twice as long as summer lasts. So yeah, act now.  
Barbecue Tip: Jason in Ontario writes a good blog about all things barbecue. He seems to like lots of grilled meat and booze. We like him.

Gotta Have It
My First Bacon - Plush Toy from ThinkgeekIn this section we usually list a product that we carry in our own stores. This month we had to defer to a higher power: bacon. Also available from the same supplier: Canned Unicorn Meat.

Meet the Experts
This is Rob. We're featuring him in this month's Hot Line because he was the first to volunteer when we needed a rabbit griller (as it turns out, the number of people that were willing to grill rabbit was surprisingly small). Rob has been with us for about two years and has become a jack of all trades. Besides being a willing rabbit chef, he has been in sales, assembly, delivery and now is going to learn how to become a master gas fitter and install fireplaces on our behalf. Good news for us because he's a smart fellow and does a great job no matter what he focuses on. I know you've seen the picture but, sorry ladies, Rob is newly married and officially off the market. He and his bride are currently cooking on a large big green egg but have also recently inherited a classic, red, Weber kettle that they're looking forward to trying. Rob is a bit of a backwoods gourmand. His favourite thing to grill is deer meat that he has hunted and processed himself (again, sorry ladies but he is strictly off limits).

Recipe of the Month Linda is one of our 'Friendsters' on our Facebook page. She's nice (well, she seems nice, I suppose she could be a complete nutcase or a panda killer or something. We've never met her. It's the digital age after all. But really, she seems very nice.) In fact, she's so nice, she volunteered her rabbit recipe for this newsletter. Here it is: Linda's Hopping Good BBQ Rabbit Ingredients:
1 rabbit (1 kg or a bit more), jointed into legs and shoulders, saddle and ribs, and belly
1 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of dried oregano (or 3/4 c. fresh)
8 garlic cloves, minced
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup of grainy mustard
Salt and pepper
Two large stems of fresh rosemary
Assemble your ingredients and admire the medieval tone of the scene before you.
Separate the meat bits...
...from the offal bits.
The Dredge on the Offal, or giblets whatever you like to call them, (it was just lungs and kidneys in this one.) 1/4 cup flour 1 tsp. onion powder 1 tsp. garlic powder 1/8 tsp. Chipotle Powder Salt Pepper
Whisk together the olive oil, oregano, garlic, lemon zest and juice, grainy mustard and pepper in a dish or Ziploc bag large enough to hold the rabbit. Mix well then add the rabbit pieces. Rub mixture over rabbit pieces and cover or seal. Put in the refrigerator to marinate for 1 hour or overnight.
Giblet fry: Rob just dredged them, and then fried them in a little bit of olive oil, they cook fast, and just need a quick little fry.
Yummy rabbit innards. Straight down the hatch.
When ready to cook, take the meat out, reserve the marinade, put it on a rack, and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. and place on the preheated grill (preheat to hot, turn down to medium when meat goes on).
Put the legs and shoulder on the barbecue. While they cook for 10 minutes, skewer (with metal skewer) the two pieces of belly together and put that on the BBQ. After another 10 minutes, put the saddle and ribs on. Make sure you turn the meat over every so often and baste by dipping the rosemary into the reserved marinade. The meat should be done when the saddle and ribs have been on for 15 or 20 minutes in total: check by cutting into the thickest part of the leg or shoulder: meat should still be a bit pink. Remove from heat, cover with foil on a platter, and rest for 15 minutes.

Ask Dr. McGrillemup
This month, we're letting Doctor McGrillemup catch up on his thriving medical practice (mostly 'expert opinion' work at high profile malpractice cases). Instead of the good doctor we're having a chat with a rabbit expert. Teresa is the owner/operator of 'SeanAnam Rabbit Producers' in Erskine, Alberta:  
I started raising rabbits myself as I had originally wanted to try rabbit, and could not find any. I thought to myself that if I wanted to try it, maybe others did as well. So my quest was at hand. I finally located a breeder close by and purchased 1 buck and 2 does, (Jack, Janet and Chrissy), and the "Regal Beagle" was born. I became an ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) member and since then I have gained more does and hope to have a steady supply of healthy, fresh, farm-raised meat for my family and others who enjoy good healthy food and are mindful of their diets. I look forward to expanding as demand indicates. Rabbits have been raised for meat for 3000 years and are easy to raise, require very little space, are quiet, and are a very healthy alternative to other meats on the market today. One 10 pound doe can produce 320 pounds of meat in a year when managed properly, which is more than one cow on a two-acre pasture.The meat is a highly nutritious product, low in unsaturated fat and it is very low in cholesterol, making it a good meat for the heart-conscious. Rabbit meat has lower sodium content than red meat but contains about the same amounts of iron and vitamins. Because rabbit meat is easily digested, it is recommended by the American Heart Foundation and the American Medical Association for people on special diets such as those with heart disease, seniors, low sodium diets, weight reduction diets, etcRabbit is mild-flavored and fine-grained. It is often compared to chicken and is just as versatile as it too can be fried, baked, stewed, and barbecued.
Barbecues Galore: What's your favourite way to cook rabbit?  
Teresa: We've got lots of great recipes but my personal favourite is oven fried, with butter, flour and parmesan cheese. It's terrific. Sort of like shake and bake but with rabbit.
Barbecues Galore: Any tips for grilling rabbit?  
Teresa: It tastes great on the barbecue but it's very lean compared to beef, pork or chicken. There's no skin to help keep moisture in either. So, keep your temperatures down to medium or less. Also, a marinade really helps to retain moisture.
Barbecues Galore: Do people generally eat the whole rabbit or are there 'cuts' like with beef?  
Teresa: Some prefer it whole. That's sort of the 'old school' way to cook it. Cooking it by the piece takes away the rabbit 'look' and that makes some people happier.
Barbecues Galore: What breeds of rabbits are raised for meat?  
Teresa: We raise New Zealand Whites and they're likely the most common. They've got white fur and red eyes. Another popular meat rabbit is the 'Californian'.
Barbecues Galore: Why do you think that eating rabbit freaks some people out?  
Teresa: In the industry we call it "Easter Bunny Syndrome." Images of cute rabbits are everywhere in the media and some people just can't get past it.
Barbecues Galore: Do they really 'breed like rabbits'?  
Teresa: When they're happy they do!
  If you want to find out where you can get some of Teresa's Alberta raised rabbit send her an email at: seananam@explornet.com

The World of Barbecue
Trevor made pulled pork sandwiches using the Bradley smoker, homemade coleslaw and homemade baked beans using the Big Steel Keg. Recipes from Ron Shewchuk's books. This was a SERIOUS lunch.
Shawn "Mr. Protein" slow cooked some ribs, made some cornbread and made a killer batch of carrot salad.
George continued the "two meats are better than one" tradition with a batch of salmon and chicken.
John brought a little bit of Korea to Bbq-HQ with some Korean grilled pork and chicken.
A group of us Barbecues Galore types in Calgary were lucky enough to attend Michael Allemeier's premier grilling class: "Essentials of Grilling and Barbecue". This guy is a serious griller with a long pedigree. If you're interested in attending one of his sessions you can contact him at macservices.allemeier@gmail.com. To say that the class was 'impressive' would be seriously underselling it:   >
Michael Allemeier - certified grill dude.
Oysters grilled on the portable, charcoal burning, Cobb grill.
Explaining the "perfectly designed" Smoky Mountain cooker from Weber. This day it smoked chicken thighs with briquettes, apple and cherry wood. 'Spritzed' with a whisky, maple syrup combination, 'glazed' with homemade barbecue sauce and 'rolled' on the hot grill for finishing. Think they were good?
Prawns Peri-Peri. Honestly the best prawns ever. Michael was born in South Africa. For more South African prawns click here.
The slavering crowd waiting for a taste of 'Pork Sosaties with Tomato and Onion Salad'. All grilled on a new Weber CEP-310.
Seriously the biggest steaks I've ever seen. Porterhouse of course. Cooked on a Weber 22.5" kettle - a classic.
Planked peaches on the kettle.
Many happy customers. Even at the leftover stage.
Send us a picture of you using your barbecue and we'll send you a gift certificate for $25 that you can use in any of the stores in our massive, world dominating retail chain. That's like....free money.

This Month's Winners
Every single month, we randomly draw four winning names (one per store) from our newsletter mailing list. We only post the winning names below so you've got to keep your eyes peeled each month. If you win, you can claim your prize by stopping by the Barbecues Galore in your area with your photo identification. Congratulations to this month's winners of a grilling package:Jen Weisbrob (Calgary South) Laurie Csokoney (Calgary North) Sandra Scime (Burlington) Ken Baker (Oakville)

Next Month's Issue
Look out Charlie - next month we're grilling the chicken of the sea.

Contact Us
We're in the service business and we genuinely want to hear your experiences so we can continue to improve. If you've got a problem or concern please contact us at query@barbecuesgalore.ca. If you've had a positive experience and want to tell others about it please tell others using this Google page (this stuff is important to us Canadian retailers in the digital age as we battle the big, bad, American box stores).Remember, an archive of our past newsletters can be found at www.barbecuesgalore.ca

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