Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
- 1 large rabbit , or 2 small, jointed (about 2kg in total)
- 2 juniper berries , crushed
- 2 tbsp gin
- 1 lemon , zested
- thyme sprigs, leaves only
- olive oil
- 150g smoked bacon or pancetta, cubed
- 1 handful baby onions or shallots, peeled
- 200g button mushrooms , quartered
- 750ml chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- 300ml double cream
- 375g puff pastry , rolled about 4mm thick and cut into 4 discs about 3cm wider than your dishes
- 1 egg yolk , beaten
- Rub the rabbit pieces with the juniper, gin, lemon and thyme. Leave to marinate for 2 hours.
- Season the rabbit and heat the oil in a frying pan until hot, fry until golden, then transfer to a casserole dish. Add the smoked bacon and cook until crisp, remove and add to the rabbit. Fry the onions and mushrooms for 10 minutes, then tip into the casserole. Pour over the chicken stock and throw in the bay and peppercorns. Put on the heat, then cover and simmer for 90 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool a little.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the rabbit pieces from the casserole and flake the meat from the bones (discard the bones). Reduce the cooking liquid by half, then add in the double cream. Bring up to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and season.
- Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Divide the meat into 4 deep oven-proof soup bowls or pie dishes and cover with sauce. Brush the edge of the dishes with beaten egg and lay the pastry discs on top. Press around the sides to seal. Brush the top with the remaining egg and cook for 20-30 minutes until golden and puffed up.
More ways with rabbit
Rabbit ragu: Braise the rabbit as for the pie recipe then shred and toss through pasta ribbons with some of the reduced cooking sauce.
Rabbit rillettes: Cook rabbit joints slowly covered with duck fat, then shred the meat and mix with parsley, garlic and shallots. Mix in some of the duck fat and pack into small pots. Serve with crusty bread.
1429 kcalories, protein 83.2g, carbohydrate 31.6g, fat 106.8 g, saturated fat 48.4g, fibre 2.1g, salt 4.86 g