You can't beat a traditional rabbit pie when you're out on a summer picnic and here's a delicious recipe. Serves four.
For the pastry:
- 200ml water
- 170g lard
- 450g PLAIN flour
- 1tsp salt
For the filling:
- A little oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 500g pork mince
- 2 large rabbit thighs, sliced and bones removed
- Small handful of walnuts, chopped
- Pinch of thyme
- 100ml game (or beef) stock (plus extra for the jelly)
- A dash of brandy
- Wild garlic leaves (optional)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Sheet of gelatine
- Start by making the pastry; put the lard and water into a small pan and heat gently until the lard melts. Sift the flour into a bowl with the salt and make a well in the middle, pour in the lard and water and combine to make a dough. When the mixture is cool enough to handle knead until smooth.
- Cut off a quarter of the dough for the lid and set aside. Roll the remaining dough into a circle to fit the base of a non-stick 20cm spring-form circular tin. Press the dough evenly over the base and up the sides of the tin.
- For the lid, roll out the dough so it is slightly larger in diameter than the tin. Set aside.
- Heat the oil and cook the onions and garlic until they soften, then add the mince, rabbit and walnuts. When the meat is browned, add the thyme, 100ml stock and the brandy.
- Line the inside of the pie casing with wild garlic leaves, pour in the filling, brush the pastry rim with water and place the lid on top. Seal the edges and make a hole for steam in the centre.
- Cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 200°C, then reduce the heat to 160°C and cook for another 90 minutes. Brush the top with beaten egg and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes. Leave until cold.
- Soak the gelatine in cold water for about five minutes, then remove and squeeze out the excess water. Heat the remaining stock and stir in the gelatine. Leave to cool to room temperature.
- Carefully pour the stock into the pie through the hole in the top. Place in the fridge to set overnight.
Recipe by Tina Laurie