This recipe for rabbit pot pie serves 4-6
500g of good shop-bought puff pastry
2 whole rabbits, skinned and gutted
Enough chicken stock to cover the rabbits, plus a little extra water if stock very concentrated
2 bay leaves
1 large onion cut into chunks
1 small bunch of fresh thyme, with some of the leaves stripped off to make up ½ tbsp reserved.
2 carrots, trimmed and peeled
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large leek, trimmed and sliced into chunks
150g button mushrooms
1 medium sized onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
50ml crème fraiche
2-3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp sunflower oil and a little butter
1 tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
Egg wash: 1 egg yolk mixed with a little double cream
Method for this rabbit pot pie
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C. Place the rabbits, bay leaves, onion chunks, peppercorns, thyme on the stalks and carrots into a large stockpot and cover with the chicken stock, adding water if the stock is very concentrated. Bring to the boil for five minutes then transfer to the oven for about an hour or until the rabbits are cooked.
When the rabbits are cooked, remove them from the liquor and reserve the stock. Take the meat off the bone and shred it into strips. Set it aside. Strain the stock and pour it into a jug. Chop the carrot into slices and add to the rabbit.
Heat up the oil and butter in a large frying pan and fry the onions and mushrooms until soft and just starting to colour then add the leek and cook until soft. Add the flour to the vegetables and stir with a wooden spoon until all the flour is absorbed into the fat and slowly pour in the stock to make the gravy. You will only need about 500ml of stock so reserve the rest for another dish. Bring it all up to the simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until it thickens. Stir in the crème fraiche, add the rabbit meat, carrots, lemon zest, chopped parsley and thyme to the pan and season to taste.
Transfer the pie filling to a large ovenproof dish or smaller dishes for individual servings and set aside. This can all be made one day in advance and can be frozen for future use if you wish.
To cook the rabbit pot pie first pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Roll out the pastry and cover the pie dish with the pastry to form a thick rustic crust around the dish. Brush with the egg wash. Bake the pie in the pre-heated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. Your rabbit pot pie is done when golden.
Serve piping hot with peas and any extra gravy you may have left. I still serve mashed potatoes with this even though you don’t need to, but my family absolutely love it.
And don’t forget…
Lee Maycock’s recipe for partridge terrine
400g diced partridge
100g diced chicken
100g finely-diced partridge meat
2 peeled, cored & diced pears
250ml double cream
20g chopped marjoram
15 rashers smoked bacon
Cornish sea salt
Milled black pepper
Method for this partridge terrine
Liquidise the partridge and chicken and pour in the double cream and season well. Place into a bowl and add the finely diced partridge, pears and marjoram. Line a terrine mould with cling-film and then line with the bacon.
Place the partridge mix in the terrine and cover over with the bacon. Bake in a water bath in the oven for 50 Minutes at 175ºC. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before refrigerating. Turn out terrine and slice, serve with damson jelly and crusty bread.