Grilled Rabbit with Mustard and Crisp Bacon

Grilled Rabbit with Mustard and Crisp Bacon
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
3 hrs 15 mins
Rabbit is easily found in most places in the U.S., though it will often be in the frozen food department. Try to find it. It's beautiful meat - lean, subtle, tender, and it cooks so well, wrapped in bacon, over the coals. The by-word is slow, even cooking. Just be patient, turn it regularly and you'll have a feast on your hands. And if you cannot find rabbit, use chicken....!
Servings: 4 people
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 2 cloves garlic green germ removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup (60ml) Dijon mustard
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • One about 3 pounds;1.5kg whole rabbit
  • 10 to 12 bout 1 ounce (30g) each slices slab bacon rind removed
  • - - for garnish
  1. Blend all of the ingredients for the mustard sauce in a small bowl. Place the rabbit in a non-reactive baking dish and rub it all over with the sauce. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours. You may also do this the night before you plan to cook the rabbit, and refrigerate it, covered. Remove it from the refrigerator at least 2 hours before you plan to grill it.
  2. Build a medium size fire in the barbecue or light the gas grill using the 2 outside burners. When the coals are red and dusted with ash, divide them in the barbecue, putting half the coals on either side. Set a grill pan in the center of the barbecue to catch any drippings. Set the rotisserie motor in place or, if not using, set the grill over the coals.
  3. Season the marinated rabbit all over with salt and pepper, then wrap it with the bacon strips and tie them into place. This is a bit of an athletic endeavor: be calm and go slowly. (I lay the bacon strips on the cutting board, slightly overlapping at the ends. I place the rabbit atop them, then slide the string under the bacon and bring it up – and the bacon with it – and around the rabbit, tying firmly to hold the bacon in place.) Use as many pieces of string as you need. If some of the bacon refuses to get caught in the string, simply skewer them into the rabbit using trussing skewers.
  4. If using the rotisserie, fit the rabbit firmly on the rotisserie bar.
  5. When the fire is hot, put the rotisserie bar in place; if not using, set the grill over the coals and when it is hot, place the rabbit directly on the grill over the drip pan. You don’t really need to check the rabbit if you’re using the rotisserie; if you’re grilling it, you need to turn it every 15 minutes, or as often as necessary to keep it golden without it getting too dark, until it is cooked through which, either way you cook it will take 1 hour. Half way through the cooking time, brush the rabbit with any of the leftover mustard sauce.
  6. When the rabbit is cooked, transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting off the string, and cutting the rabbit into serving pieces. Cut the bacon into large bite-sized pieces.
  7. If you have the rabbit liver, rub it all over with oil and place it on the grill until it is golden on all sides and slightly rosy inside, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the grill and season with salt and pepper.
  8. To serve, place the rabbit pieces and the bacon on a platter. Cut the liver into several pieces and arrange it on the platter with the rabbit. Garnish with the bay leaves, or other herbs, and serve immediately.

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