Let’s say you have yourself a couple of rabbits, all nice and dressed, wondering what you should do with them on a snowy day. Well, we’ve got just the thing.

It’s a two part job, but you can stop after the first and enjoy a cozy rabbit broth, or dare to continue onto this rare delicacy: rabbit pâté.  

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cleaned rabbits*
  • 2 rabbit livers
  • 1 ¾  lbs. fresh bacon, with generous amounts of lard, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 leek, discard the green leafy parts
  • 1 onion, chopped and briefly sautéed for flavor
  • 2 raw eggs
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. butter (roughly)
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs (roughly)
  • salt and pepper

*See the video below if you’d like guidance for butchering your rabbits.

For the first part (if you plan on doing part two, please read ahead and be sure to have a nice, warm loaf of bread not too far from reach):

Chop the rabbits into a few portions that will be both easier to eat if you choose to stop, or easier to debone should you choose to continue. All together, boil the rabbits, carrots, celery, leek, onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep on a low boil for approximately 1 ½ hours, until the rabbit is tender and comes off the bone easily.

And that’s it for part one! You can enjoy this comforting rabbit broth with some noodles or potatoes. I know it’s tempting to stop there, but grab your meat grinder and please do go on:

Remove the rabbit and carrots from the broth, you can save the stock for another recipe. While the rabbits and their carrots are cooling off, boil the liver and cook down 1 ½ lbs. of bacon separately (save ½ lb. in strips). Each should take approximately 15 minutes: the liver will change color from its original deep red to a pale reddish brown, and the bacon will melt and cook as bacon tends to do. Remove the liver and allow to cool, let the bacon cool in the pot until the fat solidifies.

Once the meats have cooled enough to handle, remove the rabbit meat from the bone. Grind together, about 3 times through, the rabbit meat, liver, bacon with lard, and carrots. Once ground, mix in the 2 raw eggs, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste (should you desire). Preheat oven to 350 degrees sometime during the grinding frenzy.

Phew! Almost done. Butter up your baking dish, metal or glass, as long as it’s about 2 in. deep. I like to use a 9 x 13 glass dish. Line with plain bread crumbs. Place your meaty mixture in the pan, and lay on top those few slices of bacon you held back to prevent drying. Set it in the oven uncovered and bake approximately 1 ½ – 2 hours, or until golden brown. You can check with a wooden stick; if it comes out clean, it’s done, if not, keep it in a little longer.

Congratulations, you made it to the end, now slather it on that bread and enjoy. Yes, you just made pâté. Yes, the stuff that only French royalty ate during the 15th century.   

Photo credit: Youtube