Sunday, 14 February 2010

Rabbit: From Field to Pie

Sunday dinner was Rabbit pie. Possibly the most satisfying meal I’ve eaten recently, for a number of reasons.
It tasted it brilliant and it contained rabbit that I killed, skinned and gutted.

I joined Gordon and Rebecca Whitefoot in Herefordshire for a morning of rabbiting.
I’ve never been rabbiting before so it was an experience I enjoyed and will never forget.

Gordon kept his ferrets in a bag draped over his shoulder, a spade in one hand and his Border cross terrier Brandy by his side and we were off.

Over the rolling hills of the Herefordshire countryside Brandy the dog was eager to show us where the rabbits were hiding. Locating the warrens was fairly easy as rabbit holes stand out and they are often surrounded by rabbit droppings. But finding out whether there were rabbits in them was Brandy’s job.

Brandy barked and scrapped the soil where she could smell the rabbits. Then it was time for the rabbit nets to be put over the rabbit holes. Gordon had two ferrets which he used to chase the rabbits out of the warren. One was black and used to doing the job and the other was a white polecat that had only been taken out rabbiting a few times, but it seemed to get the gist of it quickly.

The ferrets wear locators so we know where they are underground and if they’ve been down there too long we can find them.

Gordon explained why rabbiting takes place. Rabbits often sharpen their teeth around the base of a tree which can kill it. Rabbits of course like vegetables and can damage farmer’s crops and household vegetable patches. Rabbiting usually stops around the beginning of March as this is rabbits produce their offspring. Rabbiting is not a way of exterminating the rabbit population, just by keeping it under control.

Rabbiting by bribriwilliams


  1. I really love Rabbit, but I have only ever tried it seasoned with flour and pepper and then fried, and it is reallyl lovely, but Squirrel has got to be my favourite meat, I love it cooked anyway, you really should try it, but the only thing is you need a few of them to make a meal.

  2. squirrel? I'd love to try that. How do you go about catching them? Do you mean just grey squirrels? I'm cooking a rabbit stew this evening, but rabbit pie is a real feel good dish, yummy!