Rabbit pie

Serves 12

  • 3 shallots, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp duck or goose fat

  • 450 g higher-welfare pork mince

  • 250 g higher-welfare pork belly, cut into 1cm cubes

  • 6-8 semi-dried prunes, halved

  • 1 tbsp Armagnac

  • 1 tbsp pistachio nuts

  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme

  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

  • 4 rabbit thighs, deboned

  • For the hot-water crust pastry

  • 450 g flour

  • 200 ml water

  • 170 g lard, melted

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 free-range egg , beaten

  • For the jelly

  • 1 sachet of gelatine

  • 800 ml chicken stock

  • 20 g butter, softened

Recipe by Andy Bates



1. On a low heat, fry the shallots in the duck or goose fat for 6-8 minutes until soft. Leave to cool. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the filling except for the rabbit and season well. Cover with cling film and refrigerate until needed.



2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. For the pastry, mix the flour with the salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Combine the melted lard and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then stir into the flour with a wooden spoon to form a smooth dough. Leave the pastry for 5 minutes if too hot to handle.



3. Line the bottom of a 20cm-wide, 10cm-deep pie ring with a disc of greaseproof paper and grease the tin lightly. Place on a greaseproof paper-lined baking tray. Take two-thirds of the dough and roll into a circle large enough to line the pie ring and with excess to hang over the edges. Carefully press the pastry into the tin, allowing a little to hang over the edge. Carefully fill any tears or breaks – this is important! Roll the remaining pastry into a circle for the lid.



4. Lay half the filling mix in the pastry case, then lay the rabbit thighs on top, making sure there are no gaps. Season generously and fill the pie with the remaining filling. Brush the edges with the egg and cover with the pastry lid. Carefully crimp the edges to create a seal and trim the edge with a knife. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg, make a hole in the middle of the pastry lid and bake for 60–80 minutes.



5. Remove the ring and brush the sides and top again with egg before baking for a further 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once the pie is cold, refrigerate for 2–3 hours.



6. For the jelly, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until they soften and squeeze out any water. Heat about a third of the chicken stock in a saucepan and stir in the gelatine until it's dissolved, then stir into the rest of the stock. Leave to cool, but do not let it set. Once the pie is cold, check around the pastry for any holes and fill them with softened butter so that the jelly doesn't escape. Pour the stock into the round hole in the top of the pastry until the pie is filled. Cool in fridge until the jelly is set.

Nutritional Information

Rabbit pie

A delicious wintery game pie

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This is a real treat – packed with gamey rabbit, pork belly, sweet prunes and a dash of Armagnac
Serves 12
2h 25m (plus 2-3 hours chilling time)
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Method

Recipe by Andy Bates

1. On a low heat, fry the shallots in the duck or goose fat for 6-8 minutes until soft. Leave to cool. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the filling except for the rabbit and season well. Cover with cling film and refrigerate until needed.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. For the pastry, mix the flour with the salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Combine the melted lard and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then stir into the flour with a wooden spoon to form a smooth dough. Leave the pastry for 5 minutes if too hot to handle.

3. Line the bottom of a 20cm-wide, 10cm-deep pie ring with a disc of greaseproof paper and grease the tin lightly. Place on a greaseproof paper-lined baking tray. Take two-thirds of the dough and roll into a circle large enough to line the pie ring and with excess to hang over the edges. Carefully press the pastry into the tin, allowing a little to hang over the edge. Carefully fill any tears or breaks – this is important! Roll the remaining pastry into a circle for the lid.

4. Lay half the filling mix in the pastry case, then lay the rabbit thighs on top, making sure there are no gaps. Season generously and fill the pie with the remaining filling. Brush the edges with the egg and cover with the pastry lid. Carefully crimp the edges to create a seal and trim the edge with a knife. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg, make a hole in the middle of the pastry lid and bake for 60–80 minutes.

5. Remove the ring and brush the sides and top again with egg before baking for a further 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once the pie is cold, refrigerate for 2–3 hours.

6. For the jelly, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until they soften and squeeze out any water. Heat about a third of the chicken stock in a saucepan and stir in the gelatine until it's dissolved, then stir into the rest of the stock. Leave to cool, but do not let it set. Once the pie is cold, check around the pastry for any holes and fill them with softened butter so that the jelly doesn't escape. Pour the stock into the round hole in the top of the pastry until the pie is filled. Cool in fridge until the jelly is set.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:
  • Calories 545 27%
  • Carbs 31.6g 14%
  • Sugar 4.1g 5%
  • Fat 35.6g 51%
  • Saturates 13.4g 67%
  • Protein 23.1g 51%
Of an adult's reference intake

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BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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