- 2 Wild Rabbits
- Fresh Rosemary sprigs or squires.
- Fresh rosemary
- Heaped tbsp sweet paprika
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Heaped tbsp sesame seeds
- Lashings of sesame oil or macadamia oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the bottom part of the rosemary, use woody rosemary or skewers.
- Cut the best parts from the rabbit- the legs and back straps, removing the silverskin. Cut into mouth size pieces.
- Marinate with half the lemon, fresh rosemary, lemon, heaped tbsp sweet paprika, pinch of nutmeg, heaped tbsp sesame seeds and lashings of sesame oil or macadamia oil
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Leave to marinate for over 30 minutes.
- Put onto rosemary or skewers. Cook on a hot pan or BBQ with generous amounts of oil. Turn once each side. - The meat should be golden brown.
- Resting the meat covered with foil for 2-5 minutes will retain juices and make the meat that much better!
- When serving drizzle the juices on the Kebabs, finish with a drizzle of honey and a slice of lemon.
- I'll be Honest- cooking wild meat takes skill. So you may want to test cooking the meat. Too hot and fast and it will be raw in the middle. Too long and the meat will dry out. Not hot enough and the meat will boil in the pan and become chewy. - so take the time to test a small sample.
- The pan or BBQ should be hot when putting in the rabbit meat. Let it sit and turn only once, playing with the meat will only dry it out. And remember all meat should rest a few minutes before serving!
- The Rabbit should be tender and juicy!
- 4 rabbit livers - remove the bile duct - remove any sinew/ fatty tissue
- 250gms butter
- 2 shallots or 1 small onion peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup brandy or red wine
- For the jelly
- 1/2 tsp Gelatin
- Blackberry nip or port.
- ***Optional- Some people like to cover livers with milk and soak for 2 hours a common technique that supposedly helps to remove impurities, softens flavour and tenderises the liver.
- Dice shallots or 1 small onion and garlic- set aside
- Put 250gms of butter in the pan, once heated (not boiling) just gently bubbling
- Add liver - remembering to take the bile duct out!
- Gently sear- DO NOT COOK THROUGH for about 1-2 minutes
- Take the livers out and set aside
- To the remaining butter add the chopped Garlic and shallots, on medium until transparent.
- Add the livers back in with the butter mix
- Pour in brandy or red wine (red wine gives a stronger earthier flavor)
- Cook gently for another 2-3 min again do not overcook the liver, think medium rare -Overcooked livers taste more livery and get a dry, grainy texture.
- Add more more butter if needed as you do not want the mix to dry out.
- Set aside to cool.
- Place in blender and blend till smooth and pour into containers. Place them into the fridge till the jelly is ready.
- Raspberry nip or Port Jelly Top
- Heat 1/2 a cup of Raspberry nip, or port in saucepan, but do not boil.
- Add 1/2 tsp Gelatin until dissolved.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature and is still liquid.
- Add to tops of Pate, garnish with thyme or oregano.
- Look for healthy livers only- they should be red and clear from white spotting
- Optional- Some people like to cover livers with milk and soak for 2 hours a common technique that supposedly helps to remove impurities, softens flavour, and tenderises the liver.
- VERY IMPORTANT! Use healthy livers!!!
Hi welcome to my blog the Honest Hunter. My name is Shauna Mayben Pickin I am an artist and goldsmith who is passionate about food, hunting and foraging.
I live in Hobart, Tasmania on a small suburban block that I share with two big dogs, five furry ferrets and my Husband, Adrian Pickin.
Every piece of our small block is used to grow veggies, herbs and native edibles, such as salt bush, pepper berry, myrtle just to mention a few. We love animals, but we also aim to take responsibility for our meat were it comes from and how its processed see here for more
Together we travel around Tasmania forging from hedgerows, to back roads, hunting forest and field to find the best ingredients for many meals.
I would like to share with you all my hunting experiences, foraged finds and many recipes. As well as conversations with locals and observations from around Tasmania.
I believe food should be honest and I truly believe there is something honest about growing, foraging and hunting for my food.
This is my story.
I’ll be honest, I used to think hunters were bad, perceiving “them” as nothing but blood thirsty Bogans, stuck in a barbaric past, something not relevant in today’s society…..and now I’m out nearly every weekend hunting for my own meat…. And I can’t get enough of it.
What happened and why?
If you told me years ago I would be a passionate gun owner and hunter, my jaw would have dropped. I was scared of guns! A free spirited nature loving girl that could never kill, let alone gut and skin an animal!
I had struggled with being a meat eater, because of my beliefs so for a time I abstained from animal-derived foods because I cared about the consequences of my eating; I did this for several years.
After three long years I realised that my heath and sanity were suffering because of the lack of iron, protein and a good feed. I craved meat. I hated going to BBQs and smelling the sweet smell of roasting meat, I can personally tell you that dry lentil burgers just didn’t cut it.
Who was I kidding I love a good steak. I grew up with salami, pate, homemade sausages and Sunday roasts.
I wanted to eat meat again, but was struggling with ethical and environmental issues that surrounded meat production.
This all changed when I was discovered the health benefits of kangaroo and wallaby in supermarkets. “Wallaby is virtually carbon neutral thanks to their unique digestive system. They are at harmony with their natural environment and have very little impact upon the land compared to domesticated livestock. Plus water consumption per kilo of edible meat is 70 per cent less than sheep and almost 90 per cent less than beef is another great advantage”.
Great! I started to feel better about my food choices. I also added free range back into my diet, trying where possible to buy only locally sourced produce. I was becoming a part of a food movement that I could believe in.
But a part of me still knew someone was doing the dirty work for me. I needed to woman up and take responsibility for my meat consumption. I wanted to look the animal in the eye and know that I could handle the reality behind eating an animal, to confront that internal emotional and moral difficulty.
So I took up hunting and harvesting my own meat where I could.
It was a lot harder than I first imagined to obtain a gun licence, and to my surprise a gun didn’t just shoot itself. It was hard work to get a good consistent target shot. I joined a shooting club and to this day I still shoot target and silhouettes to hone my skills.
Since then, I haven’t looked back, I love shooting. I now own a centrefire, magnum and my trusty 22 Bruno. I also go out clay pigeon shooting whenever I have the chance and the recoil kick doesn’t worry me a bit.
The shooting community have shown to be incredibly supportive, generous in their time and knowledgeable in what they pass on. Most proving to be responsible ethical hunters, passionate about what they do, from the equipment they use, to the techniques they practice.
I am proud to say to this day I have not experienced any sexism, instead I find farmers, sharpshooters and hunters alike, supportive and encouraging having women in their mist, there are no barriers.
So where are all the rednecks? The tobacco chewing hicks? The so called animal haters? Well I am sure they exist, but in my experience in the minority. Most hunters are just like me. Educated, socially aware, animal loving hunters that want honesty brought back to their lives.
Hunters in general, care about ethical, sustainable hunting; humanely harvested animals directly from their natural environment without ever having been confined or handled by man. Hormone, antibiotic, free range and as organic as it gets. My husband, Adrian and I love the taste of game meat.
Hunting for me is not just about being responsible about my food, its reaches much deeper than that. It’s in my blood. I love it and it has become a big part of mine and my husband’s life. A lot of hunters say they can’t describe the feeling they get when they hunt, and I understand that now. But I’m going to do my best to articulate.
Hunting is truly getting back to nature on so many levels. The fresh air, the birdsong. Every foot step I take is considered, every breath, every heart beat I can feel. Time slows down and I am completely in the moment. I listen carefully, my senses heightened. I stalk, then wait. Then the moment comes when I see the quarry…my heart pounds, my breath slows…I take the shot. I see it go down. There is a sense of sadness mixed with adrenalin, a mix of worry and confidence, did I get a good shot off? When I pick the animal to inspect and see a clean kill….pure joy. I was not joyful that the animal was dead. I was happy that my hard work, skill, and patience had resulted in a successful harvest. I was joyful that the animal did not suffer in its last moments and that I was successful in honouring and respecting life.
I don’t only shoot for food, I also shoot to help farmers protect their crops, I have shot feral cats, foxes and even possums to aid in conservation, and I’m proud to say that.
Now, more than ever I believe hunting is relevant in today’s society. In fact it is necessary, hunters are conservationist.
So even if you are an anti- hunter remember to be kind, not everything you read in the media is 100 per cent accurate; educate yourselves with the facts, look beyond the media grabs and photos. If you’re a hunter; have a respectful and honest discussion with those who have lost touch with where their food comes from, explain and educate them on why you hunt. Be understanding of each other’s concerns. Everyone has their own journey, and you never know they may just turn out to be fellow hunter.
I now go to BBQ’s my head held high, with a plate full of venison steaks or bunny burgers, all from natures supermarket, that come with a damn good hunting story.
By Shauna Pickin
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 long red chilli, slices
- 500 g lean Wallaby mince - you can get it from Lenah valley meats- http://www.lenah.com.au/
- 2 cloves Garlic
- Handful of mushrooms sliced
- 1 - 2 tomato
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 cup coriander leaves
- 2 lime leaves, very finely shredded
- 2 tbsp lime and lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sweet chilli sauce
- 2 Kaffir lime leafs
- 2 tsp sugar
- Iceberg lettuce leaf and lemon wedges, to serve
- Start by cutting the red onion and chilly in thin slices and pickling in lemon juice and salt, put it in the fridge for 30 min. (Keep seeds in red chilly for heat- remove seeds for a milder flavor)
- Make the dressing, whiz together fish sauce, lime, lemon juice, kaffir lime, sugar, sweet chilly you can also use the stalks of the coriander.
- Heat the oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Add the mince and cook, breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon, then add mushrooms till cooked through.
- Set mince and mushrooms to cool- but not go cold- it should be slightly warm when serving.
- Add the dressing, diced tomato, mint and coriander to the wallaby mix and stir to combine.
- Arrange the lettuce leaves on serving plates. Use a slotted spoon to pile the mince larb on top.
- Garnish with extra mint and pickled onion chilly mix.
- You can eat it wrapped up in the lettuce, like a roll or however you like!
- 1. You can adjust the flavours (hot, sour, salty and sweet) to taste, by using more or less chilli, lime/ lemon juice, fish sauce and sugar.
- 2. For a more filling meal, try serving with rice noodles through the wallaby mix.
A lots of people ask me how rabbiting is done…. well this video is a great example of how we catch rabbits using the purse nets and ferrets. The nets are placed over all the holes, then the ferrets are released into the holes. The ferrets naturally know what to do… get the rabbits. But rabbits aren’t silly, they’re not going to stick around to be eaten! At full speed they “bolt” from the holes into the nets. The nets collapse around the rabbit catching them. I’m not sure if you picked it up from the video, but you can see I cover the hole with my foot, then knee. The reason I do this is to stop other rabbits from making their escape!
I would like share with you this original and perhaps unique Tasmanian idea. We welcome you and your friends to share this video and perhaps provide your honest feedback. For example what do you like or perhaps don’t like about it, the concept, the topics,, the theme or perhaps suggestions or ideas about show content.
Hopefully in time, we will be able to develop this idea further into an Australian TV pilot show.
Please note we are not actors just ordinary people who would like to share with you an honest look into what hunting, foraging….to offer, amazing Tasmanian sceneries , food, people and places, some which might be on your very door step
STOP THE CAR! my husband shouts, we stop, and he bounds out like a excited child. What? – its damsons Shauna…. damsons! damsons. Ok… saying it over and does not make me know what it is.
Damsons are a small fruit with a dark blue skin and a strong sour flavour. They are very similar to plums, however are a member of the rose family. They are beautiful fruit with a large stone and are very juicy, but don’t eat them raw as you will get a shock (like I did) as they are very tart! – yes i spat it out.
My husband Adrian is English, when younger he used to go out picking wild fruit from the trees, and his mother and grandmother would make great jams – once finished picking the fruit, he would often jump over the fence and pick the snow peas in the fields. Tasmania has an abundance of English fruit trees due to the history of convict settlement, for those that don’t know the English settled in Tasmania or “Van Diemen’s Land” in 1803 bringing with them the love of all things English.
When out and about we constantly forage for hedge row fruits, berry’s and edibles, and these little beauty’s were picked in late autumn and strangely were not eaten by birds…. perhaps they have the same taste buds as me.
Like most, I wasn’t sure how to make the Jelly but this recipe helped quite a bit-
I have to say I do love this blog – http://www.cygnetkitchen.co.uk/2014/09/14/wild-damson-jelly/
I did make some adjustments –
- I boiled the fruit with the stones in. Trying to remove them will drive you wild.
- The fruit was very ripe. For great jellys and jams you need allot of pectin, this occurs with fruit that is slightly under ripe, as the fruit ages the pectin decreases. To resolve this commercial pectin can be added. Or lemon juice. I used the the pectin.
The result – One of the BEST and versatile jams I have even made. With a deep rich dark flavour and colour, it truly is a sexy jam!! Since then have used the jelly in crumbles, pies, cakes…… the list goes on, but best of all is making it into BBQ sauce!
I have to say I made quite a few jars of “hot dam BBQ sauce” and it was a hit! Using smoked chillies, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, apple vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt- pepper and celery seeds. But really you can shake it up and make any BBQ sauce you want…. just remove the sugar component and add the damson jelly. Easy as! Below is an example I found on the internet, please note this is not my cooking tutorial, well not yet anyway.
- · 3 tablespoons truffle oil
- · 2 tablespoons olive oil
- · Black Tasmanian garlic
- · 1 wallaby leg, and or wallaby pieces (can be replaced with lamb or beef stew meat)
- · Salt
- · 2 cups chopped onion
- · 1 cup minced carrot
- · 1 cup minced celery
- · 2 tablespoons sage leaves, chopped
- · 1 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
- · 2 bay leaves
- · 2 tablespoons dried and chopped Tasmanian pepper berries
- · 1 handful dried porcini mushrooms chopped.
- · 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- · 1 can crushed tomatoes
- · 1 cup red wine, i liked to use Tasmanian wine, nice to drink a glass as I am making this dish
- · Parsley and grated cheese to garnish
- · Drizzle Tasmanian truffle oil finish
- 1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Brown the wallaby pieces well. Take your time and do this in batches. Don’t let the pieces touch each other as they brown. Salt them as they cook. When browned, put into slow cooker pot.
- 2. In the same pan (with meat set aside), fry the onion, carrot and celery with truffle oil , stirring occasionally, until the veggies begin to brown. Add to meat in slow cooker pot.
- 3. In the same pan whisk together the tomato paste and wine. Add garlic, sage, rosemary, bay leaves and pepper berries. Mix well and allow to cook for a minute.
- 4. Add to the slow cook pot. Turn the heat to high to bring everything to a boil, then add the can of crushed tomatoes. Mix well, drop the heat to a bare simmer — only a few bubbles coming up to the surface — cover and let this cook until the wallaby meat wants to fall off the bone/ or meat is tender up to 3 1/2 hours
- 5. When the meat is tender, fish out the bay leaves and discard. Remove the wallaby pieces and pull the meat from the bones. Return it to the pot.
- 6. Soak mushrooms till hydrated, strain and add to sauce until tender.
- 7. Serve with pasta of your choice. I serve by putting the pasta in a large bowl, tossing it with a ladle of the sauce, then plating. Then top each plate with a bit more sauce and serve parsley and some grated pecorino cheese, with a drizzle of truffle oil to finish.
- 8. Then sit down with family or guest, and enjoy!