A ‘tame’ game pie for those just dipping their toes into the gamey waters of life. It’s not without regret that we recommend young, plump bunnies at the best!
Serves 8 – 10
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 25g butter
- 800g rabbit meat, diced
- 200g pancetta, diced
- 1/2 head of celeriac, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 4 shallots, diced
- 2 heaped tbsp plain flour
- 500ml dry cider
- 300ml chicken stock
- 25g dired porcini mushrooms, soaked in a little hot water for 10 minutes
- 200ml double cream
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- a small bunch of tarragon, chopped
- a small bunch of rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
- 375g puff pastry
- 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten, to glaze
- sea salt and black pepper
Heat the oil and butter in a large pan, add the rabbit and pancetta and fry until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the vegetables to the pan and fry until lightly coloured. Stir in the flour, return the rabbit and pancetta to the pan and mix well.. Pour in the cider and stock, add the porcini and their soaking liquid, then bring to a simmer. Cook gently, uncovered, for about 25 minutes until the vegetables are just tender. Add the cream, mustard, tarragon and rosemary and season to taste. Spoon the mixture into a large pie dish and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick. Brush the edges of the pie dish with beaten egg and lay the pastry over the top, pressing the edges down to seal. Brush with beaten egg and make a small hole in the centre for the steam to escape. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
Excellent served with mash and pea and carrot velouté.