I’m ashamed to admit that, for most of my life, I tossed the belly flaps from our rabbits to the beagles that sat patiently by as we skinned the day’s take. Then Facebook friend and homesteading extraordinaire Laurie Levey posted up some rabbit-belly jerky she had made.
The dogs aren’t happy. From that point on, all rabbit bellies, both wild and the domestic rabbits we raise for meat, go to various jerky recipes. We simply save them each time we process rabbits and vacuum seal them for the freezer. When we have enough, we thaw them out and make jerky in our Magic Chef Dehydrator.
You can use whatever marinade or jerky recipe you like, but this Orange Soy Ginger is one of our favorites. As with all my jerky, I prefer to add the appropriate amount of Instacure #1 to the recipe to guard against food-born illness, but you can make the jerky without it if you keep the finished product either frozen or refrigerated.
Belly flaps from 10-12 rabbits, cut into jerky sized slices
1 cup orange juice
1 cup soy sauce
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
½ teaspoon Instacure #1 (also known as Prague Powder or Pink Curing Salt)
Cut the bellies into jerky-sized slices. Trim away most of the fat if using domestic rabbits.
Mix the marinade ingredients in a glass bowl. Add the rabbit belly and stir well to evenly coat the rabbit. Marinate 4 to 8 hours.
Dry the jerky in your Magic Chef dehydrator at 160 degrees, in the oven on low with the door slightly cracked open, or on the smoker until it is dry, but still flexible. This batch took about 6 hours in the dehydrator.
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