Hunting and fishing are a large part of Michigan’s rich heritage, but you don’t have to hunt or fish yourself to appreciate the benefits generated from those license revenues. Beyond financial contributions, hunters and anglers aid their communities in other ways. For instance, wildlife management areas that are scattered around the state complete habitat projects that are essential to the sustainability of our state’s wildlife and natural resources. Whether it’s caring for a rare ecosystem or providing cover for various animal species, these areas are carefully managed through scientific plans put in place by the DNR. If you’re interested in participating in conservation practices, building rabbit habitat is a great place to start! Building brush piles for rabbitat is an easy way to clear shrubs and encroaching timber from wildlife openings, while also providing a safe shelter for rabbits from harsh weather conditions and predators. Not only is building rabbit habitat a fun conservation practice, it’s also a great place for new hunters to try out their skills!
Check out this week’s recipe from Gourmet Gone Wild for some yummy rabbit taquitos, and get out there and start working on some habitat projects!
Yield: 6-10 servings
4-8 Pounds bone-in rabbit pieces
2 Large yellow onions, julienne cut
3 TBSP paprika
3 TBSP salt
1 TBSP ground mustard
3 TBSP cumin
2 TBSP fresh oregano
2 TBSP pepper blend
2 TBSP sriracha sauce
2 TBSP lemon juice
3 CUPS chicken stock
3 TBSP butter
¼ CUP cornstarch slurry (1/8 cup cornstarch dissolved in 1/8 cup water)
1 CUP shredded pepper Colby jack cheese
20 Six-inch flour tortillas
- It is best to use a heavy braising pot with lid and a stainless steel braising/roasting rack.
- Combine paprika, salt, ground mustard, cumin, oregano, pepper, sriracha sauce, lemon juice, and stock. Stir well. Add mixture to julienne onions, then combine with cleaned rabbit in large heavy-duty zipper bags. Remove all air and marinate overnight in a refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 250°F. Place rack in braising pot, put rabbit pieces on rack and cover with marinade sauce and onions. Bake for 3-4 hours or until the game meat is falling from the bone. Remove from oven and reserve 2 cups of braising jus and onions in a bowl. Pull rabbit from rack and let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, pull all meat from bones and add to the strained onions from braising pot and the shredded cheese. Simmer the braising jus and add 1 tablespoon of butter and add cornstarch slurry to thicken. Add sauce to rabbit and onion mixture.
- Turn oven temperature up to 400°F. Lightly spread butter on one side of each of the flour tortillas. Flip tortilla over and fill the tortilla with about 1/3 cup of the meat filling. Roll the tortillas closed. Grease a metal baking pan and place the rabbit tortilla rolls in the pan with the seam side down. To help ensure a crispy bottom, heat the taquito pan on the stove top for 2-3 minutes before placing in the oven. Bake taquitos, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve these simple and delicious taquitos with as many toppings and fresh salsas as you like!
Check back every Wednesday for a new Wild Game Dish recipe, proudly used by MUCC’s Gourmet Gone Wild program! If you’re looking for more wild game and fish recipes check out the MUCC online store and purchase a copy of Wild Gourmet!