barbecued spiced pomegranate rabbit - december 2014 #letslunch post

Down here in Australia, December is summer and sunshine, with many of Aussies spending their time by the beach, the pool or the air conditioning!

However all of my teenage and university Christmas holidays were spent working on our farm in the north west of NSW.
Sometimes it was a family affair, sometimes it was just my dad and me.

When it was just the two us, dad created a little rule that of we had to 'live off the land’ shop bought meat or poultry allowed.  I only agreed if I was allowed whatever vegetables, spices, herbs and condiments I desired....well at least what I could buy from the general store.

Although our farm is a sheep property, as with many farms in Australia, it also abounded with wild kangaroo, boar and rabbit....though never came across a bush turkey!

Being an inquisitive foodie eating game is heaven and I used dad's rule as a license to experiment, exploring a new cuisine or flavour combination to create something new with our bounty.  

Dad relished my inventions and though his culinary skills were not as varied mine, he loved trying new things....he'd often joke that anything I created would be leaps above his curried kangaroo stew or goulash

But it wasn’t always me hogging the kitchen....Dad would also don the apron, and on those hot December evenings it would often involve him cooking up a storm on the open woodfired brick barbecue he'd built.

Barbecued rabbit was a traditional staple for Dad.  I'd watch him cook it on a wire rack over slow burning logs, regularly turning it to keep the moisture evenly within the meat or sometimes throwing a little of his beer on it or placing some of the local grasses into the fire give it a herbaceous note.

I miss Dad’s fired delights......I haven’t had barbecued rabbit for a’s been 10 years and 10 days since I said my eternal goodbye. So this little recipe is a tribute to our tradition of ‘living off the land’ in December.....and my ever continual desire to create something new.

barbecued spiced pomegranate rabbit
serves 4
2 x 1kg rabbits, cut into 6 pieces
1 pomegranate
Spinach salad, to serve

2 cups (500ml)  pomegranate juice
4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  1. To make marinade, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Measure out 1 1/3 cups of the marinade and set aside. Add rabbit to  remaining marinade, in the bowl, to  coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile transfer reserved marinade to a small saucepan. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until reduced by half. Transfer the glaze to a heatproof jug and set aside to cool. 
  3. Roll the pomegranate a little on the bench (this helps loosen the seeds). Cut pomegranate in half, then turn seed side down and hold over a bowl. Tap the skin with a large cook spoon  or wooden spoon to release the seeds. Discard skin.
  4. Remove rabbit from marinade and allow to come back to room temperature. 
  5. Heat a barbecue, or chargrill pan, to medium heat.  Brush rabbit with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook the small legs for 6 – 8 minutes each side and larger legs and saddle pieces for 10 – 15 minutes, turning regularly and occasionally brushing with marinade.Transfer to a large tray, loosely cover with foil and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Arrange the rabbit on a serving plate, drizzle over some of the pomegranate glaze and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Serve with remaining glaze and a spinach salad.
This was my post for this month's #LetsLunch, a monthly Twitter based food blogger's virtual lunch club.

If you'd like to join the LetsLunch group, go to Twitter and post a message with the hashtag #LetsLunch or post a comment below!

 For more non-traditional festive recipes from the #letslunch blogger crew click on the links below. I'll continue to update them as they come in.

Lisa @ Monday Morning Cooking Club's Duck Confit

Mel @ the cook's notebook Christmas sausage rolls


Annabelle said... Best Blogger Tips

I've only had really traditional rabbit preparations (you know, at the sort of restaurant where they call it "lapin" and not rabbit), but I'm intrigued by the pomegranate idea. Sounds good!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

This looks amazing, and is a beautiful sentiment to your dad. I haven't ever cooked rabbit and am almost tempted with this post. We have evil bush turkeys lurking around our holiday house near Sydney - I would be more than happy to send you one. Merry Christmas xx

Betty Ann Quirino @Mango_Queen said... Best Blogger Tips

What an amazing recipe and story about your family. Thanks for sharing both. Happy Holidays and as always, fun doing Let's Lunch with you and the rest!

Unknown said... Best Blogger Tips

What a lovely story and tribute to your dad. Love the living off the land!