Canning Meat – Specifically Rabbit

Confession Time – I shot three jackrabbits on a Sunday, forgot about them in the fridge and got on a plane to Denver. This resulted in a problem. Bless my wife but she sure as heck is not going to gut and skin a rabbit. Nor are my boys, yet. But they could freeze them. As instructed my oldest son grabbed the bag the rabbits were in, and set them in my chest freezer.

And there they stayed for six months. I know, terrible. But the skin actually acted as a protective barrier and kept the meat quite nice. When I did get around to clearing out that part of the freezer I thawed the rabbits for a few days; they were perfect. I was thrilled to get the sizable amount of space the rabbits took up back.

In order to get my freezer “fall ready” I make it a goal to utilize all my scrap from the previous season. I’ll make sausage or jerky or even confit stuff. But this time my goal was to get “camp meat” for the fall. I wanted a “no refrigeration needed” meat that I could haul into the backcountry with me. Something other than jerky. I knew about canning meat, or jarring meat to be more specific, but I had never done it. It requires a pressure canner – something I did not own.

Luckily for me a quick look on craigslist and I came up with an inexpensive pressure canner. The variety I ended up with is a “Victory Model” from World War 2. It is simply amazing. Sure, a new canner would be cool but this old school model was all a guy needs.

With thawed rabbits and a new to me pressure cooker I set out to make meat. First I deboned the rabbits, then I cubed them, then I browned them in hot oil, then I tossed them in “taco” seasoning. Next I added them to jars with a little stock and canned them. It was super easy, I was pleasantly surprised.

As with all preserving – keeping sanitary is a must. Clean hands, clean jars, clean lids – clean everything. With canning, and all preservation really, you are trying to defeat the forces of nature that rot food. A hard project and one that if not done right is downright dangerous.canned rabbit quesodillas

When I was don canning the meat I could not wait to try it out. The next afternoon I opened a jar and made myself a quick quesadilla out of the meat. Unreal, I basically had shredded rabbit meat in a jar ready to eat whenever I am hungry. I am going to be canning meat a lot more in the future.

Canned Rabbit

2# cleaned rabbit meat, diced

¼ cup canola oil

1 packet “taco seasoning”

2 cloves garlic, crushed

½ onion diced

1 cup chicken stock or water

Place a 12 inch heavy bottomed pan on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add half the canola and carefully add the rabbit meat a little at a time. Do not overcrowd the pan, the meat will not brown properly. Add more oil as needed to keep the pan from being dry bottomed. When all the meat is brown add it all back to the pan and toss with taco seasoning. Remove meat from pan to a plate. Add garlic, onion and chicken stock to the pan.

Bring the pan to a boil, scrape the bottom for all the good chunks of brown. This is called “fond” by the way. Remove pan from heat.

Next pack the meat to clean wide mouthed jars. Then add the pan drippings to each jar, distributing them evenly. But make sure to leave at least a ½ inch of head room on the jar. Top each jar with a clean lid and clean ring. Place into pressure canner and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to follow all instructions for canning very carefully. canned rabbit

Tasting Wild – The Podcast


The idea of a wild game related podcast had been kicking around in my head for a while. It was just a concept – maybe some guests, maybe some recipes, maybe some tips and tricks. A lot of maybes.

Then I started getting into the idea about two months ago. I wanted to make it happen – so I emailed a fellow wild game inclined dude named Justin from Harvesting Nature. Justin was kind enough to offer a blurb for my book, I wanted to move that relationship forward – I brought up doing a pod cast to him. He then mentioned that another fellow, Jerimiah, was looking at doing a wild game podcast as well. (Great minds think alike?)

Emails, skype and texts flew around for a while. Then wham and bam we had a group of five wild game chefs making a podcast. Tasting Wild was born – and I am stoked to be a part of it.

Like all new projects this will evolve. We will find a groove, a zone and then execute. I can already see improvement from the first podcast to the second. This podcast has legs, it is awesome and will become awesome-er in the future.

Here is the chef lineup for Tasting Wild –

Justin Townsted– Harvesting Nature

Jeremiah Doughty – From Field to Plate

Joel Lickliter – Home Cookin Hunter

John Wallace – Wild Game Creations

Oh, and me…Randy King

Click and listen. It is worthy. I’ll keep posting these too, but please go ahead and subscribe. That will REALLY help us in the long run to make Tasting Wild sustainable. Options for listening below.

Tunein – Tasting Wild

iTunes – Tasting Wild

Stitcher – Tasting Wild

Much love everyone!


Chef in the Wild – the book yo

Chef in the Wild is now on Amazon! 

Want to judge a book by its cover? Go for it because here it is!  

 Really cool looking huh? Yeah, at this point you want to flip the book over and see what this is all about? Ok, sure.  

 Did Hank Shaw, Randy Newburg, and Don Thomas give the book props? Sure did. Yeah, cool stuff. You should buy this book. – has this book

Caxton Press does as well. 

Either way, it is a solid book – both for its recipes and its stories. But hell, I’m biased. Check the reviews for other people’s opinion. 

So um, this is blatant self promotion. But why not, it is my website. 

Hunting the Soda Fire

As a fire took a lot of my favorite hunting ground I found it irasistable to head back and survey the damage. With a bow, on opening day.  

 I soon found deer. Glassed them for a while. Then went on a big sneak with my buddy Drew. I found a velvet 2×2 buck, shot an arrow and watched as it hit him in the last rib. A little far back but still in the vitals. 

We waited the customary hour before tracking. We found no blood. My heart sank. I called in for back up, my Dad. One spot of blood on the bucks known rout. Not another drop. We found the tip of my arrow. It had been a pass through. 

I was looking for a needle in a haystack, but I didn’t have a magnet. I lost the buck. With no doctors or hospitals I am nearly certain that buck has since passed. He will feed coyotes and not my family. 

I struggle with my next actions. Shit happens, I get that. But I will always wonder what I could have done better. What clues I could have missed. I took a life and can’t even respect it with a good meal. Heartbreak.