If meat-eaters occupy the top of the food chain, then Christopher Eley, owner of Goose the Market and Smoking Goose Meatery, is king of the carnivores. Goose’s elaborately stocked front counter is a meat-lover’s equivalent to a candy store, and its signature line of smoked meats, sausages, and salumi have upped the local charcuterie game. Eley’s love of meats goes back to hunting trips as a kid with his grandfather and father. “I remember hunting rabbits along train tracks in northern Indiana,” Eley says. “I was too young to be hunting, but that didn’t bother them.”
Here, Eley explains how to tame the flavor of wild rabbit.
“Wild rabbits have had more of a workout than domestically raised rabbits. This means they are typically bigger. The meat is slightly darker and has more flavor, but can also be slightly tougher,” says Eley, who explains that the best way to prepare a wild rabbit is to soak it in either a saltwater solution or buttermilk. Saltwater will draw out any remaining blood and start to tenderize it. The lactic acid in buttermilk will provide the same function. “I prefer the salt-solution method when grilling or roasting, and the buttermilk method when braising or frying,” Eley says.