The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

Wild rabbit and leek turnover with piccalilli

This dish is a winner. The pastry and piccalilli can be made in advance, so it can be a relatively quick meal to prepare. The delicious tender rabbit meat beautifully mingles with the Cumbrian ham for a rich, meaty taste. Dress the plate with any excess piccalilli before serving to really wow your guests.

Wild rabbit and leek turnover with piccalilli

By Lisa Allen
Serves: 4
Cooking time: 1 hour plus overnight resting and marinating time


Rabbit and leek turnover
•    100g of organic white leeks
•    30g of onion, diced
•    1/2 garlic clove, crushed
•    10g of butter
•    60ml of organic cream
•    1 tsp of chopped chives
•    4 slices of organic Cumbrian ham
•    2 200g free range rabbit saddles
•    salt
•    pepper
Puff pastry
•    900g of white bread flour
•    165g of unsalted butter, diced and softened
•    500g of unsalted butter
•    45ml of lemon juice
•    12g of salt
•    6g of caster sugar
•    210ml of water
•    400ml of chardonnay vinegar
•    200ml of water
•    120g of sugar
•    1 tsp of English mustard
•    4g of turmeric
•    16 baby carrots
•    16 cauliflower florets
•    1 cucumber, diced
•    4 spring onions, cut into strips
•    100g of baby watercress, half reserved for garnish
•    salt


1. Begin by preparing the puff pastry – this can be done few days before. Combine the flour and the 165g butter into a food mixer and blend until fine. Add the 500g of butter and mix for 2-3 minutes until just combined. Whisk together the salt, sugar, lemon juice and water

2. Add the water increasingly to the flour and butter mix, combine until just combined. Remove the combination from the food mixer, lightly knead for 2-3 minutes, then form the pastry into a flat square

3. Wrap the pastry in cling film and leave in the fridge overnight to chill. When the pastry has rested, roll into a long rectangle (1cm thick) then turn the pastry to landscape then turn both sides to meet in the centre, and fold one on top of the other. Repeat this procedure 4 times, turning the pastry clockwise every time

4. To make the piccalilli, this can also be made ahead. Put the vinegar, water and sugar into a medium sized pan and bring to a boil. Once the vinegar has boiled remove from the heat and add the English mustard and turmeric

5. Boil the carrots in a medium sized pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the carrots are tender. Remove from the pan, transfer into iced water and strain

6. In a separate pan, boil the cabbage for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan, transfer into iced water and strain

7. In a bowl, combine the carrots, cauliflower, dices of cucumber, baby watercress spring onions and the vinegar mix. Combine all the ingredients well and leave to marinade for 24 hours

8. To make the turnover, first make the leek and onion stuffing. Cut the leek in half, wash carefully in cold water and then with a sharp blade finely shred. Melt the butter into a hot medium sized. Add the leeks and diced onion and sweat for 3-4 minutes until they are soft

9. Add the crushed garlic, cream, salt and pepper and cook for a further 4 minutes. Take out from the pan and leave to cool. Once chilled, mix in the chives and reserve, ready to make the turnover

10. Using a sharp blade, remove the loins from the rabbit saddles. Slice the loins in half to get four pieces 4cm long

11. Flavour the loins with salt and white pepper, equally split the leek and onion stuffing mix between the four and lay the stuffing on top of each loin of rabbit. Wrap each loin in organic Cumbrian ham

12. Roll out the rough puff pastry to ½ cm thick, cut the pastry into squares 11cm long by 11cm wide. Place the rabbit loins in the centre of each square and brush the rim with egg wash. Fold over the pastry, pinch the sides together ensuring you don’t get air pockets, cut away any access pastry, and seal the sides together with the end of a fork

13. Make three small lacerations on top of each turnover, place the turnovers onto a baking tray line with greaseproof paper, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes

14. When chilled, brush each turnover with egg wash and place in the oven at 200°C/gas mark 6 for 6 minutes or until golden

15. To plate, place the turnovers in the middle of each plate and accompany with the piccalilli and a garnish of baby watercress

Recipe courtesy of Great British Chefs. Visit their site for more delicious rabbit recipes.