Rabbit, bacon and thyme pie

Rabbit is an outrageously underrated meat - I suppose some people can only think of nice fluffy bunnies as pets and not for eating. The meat is perfect for novices of game as it has a slight gamey flavour yet has similar characteristics to chicken in terms of flavour and texture. There is an abundance of rabbit in the UK and we're right in season at the moment so your local butcher will be able to get wild rabbit if you pre-order - a wild rabbit should cost no more than £3.50 each.

Ingredients

  • 2 wild rabbits (£3.50 per rabbit - £7)
  • 250g unsmoked streaky bacon (£1.64)
  • 1 large onion (20p)
  • 125g of unsalted butter (£1)
  • 25g of fresh lemon thyme (64p)

The cupboard staples...

Salt, black pepper, chicken stock cube (2), milk, flour, and garlic (2 cloves).

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Tesco, where it came to £10.32 - that's £2.06 per head!

Instructions

  • Firstly you'll need to joint the rabbits. Here's how it's done. Cut the hind quarters away from the body and separate the legs. Halve the leg joints. Cut the body horizontally through the backbone into two portions, stopping at the rib cage. Cut lengthways through the breastbone and divide the ribcage section in half. Flour and season the rabbit joints generously.
  • Now finely slice the onion and bacon and add a little butter (25g) to a very large saucepan with a drizzle of olive oil to stop the butter from burning. Add the rabbit joints and fry for 5 minutes until nice and browned and remove from the pan. Now add the onions and bacon and fry until brown.
  • Add the rabbit back to the pan along with the finely chopped garlic and thyme and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then add 2 pints of chicken stock and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Once simmered turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down completely.
  • Whilst the mixture is cooling down you can make the pastry. I prefer shortcrust for this pie. You can use flaky or rough puff if you wish.
  • For 12oz of shortcrust pastry (which will be more than enough to cover the pie dish) you will need 8oz of plain flour, 4oz of cubed butter, 5 tablespoons of cold water and a pinch of salt. Put the flour, salt and butter in a bowl and run between your fingers to breadcrumb consistency. Then stir in (use a knife) a little water until the mixture becomes dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge.
  • Now back to the rabbit mixture. You can either take the rabbit meat off the bone or just put the mixture into an ovenproof dish as it is - it depends on your personal preference. I would leave the bones on, so just fill the dish up with the mixture; cover with the pastry and brush with a little milk (remember to make a small hole in the middle to let the steam out). Cook for one hour at 200C.
  • I would serve with a big pile of comforting mash, happy eating!

7 comments:

  1. I have seen whole frozen rabbits in my local butcher, they are £4.5 each! (£1 different!)

    I will try your recipe soon!

    ReplyDelete
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