Rabbit picnic pie
Rabbit is such an under-rated meat — it has quite a mild flavour (although different, it is most similar to chicken) and is very lean. Younger rabbits are more tender. If you can’t find rabbit, use a whole chicken (cut into pieces) and follow the same instructions. These pies can be eaten hot or cold, with salad, roasted baby carrots and peas, or just with tomato sauce alone — give rabbit a go and you’ll be converted to this delicious meat.
- Heat oven to 130C.
- Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan and brown the rabbit meat on both sides (you will need to do this in two batches). Transfer meat to a large oven-proof casserole dish with a fitting lid.
- Heat remaining oil in the same pan and fry bacon, onion and leek until onion and leek are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add wine to hot pan and let it bubble for a minute or two.
- Pour into casserole dish, along with the thyme and chicken stock.
- Cover casserole dish and cook for 4 hours or until rabbit meat falls off the bone. Shred meat off the bones using two forks (or your hands once cooled). If there is any excess liquid remaining, reduce this down in a pot for a few minutes and add back to shredded meat.
- Allow shredded meat mixture to cool completely.
- Heat oven to 200C. Cut each pastry sheet into quarters so you have 12 squares of pastry in total .Push pastry squares into cups of a 12-cup muffin pan, leaving the edges overhanging. Place a few tablespoons of rabbit filling in each. Fold over the overhanging pastry to cover the filling.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until puff pastry is golden.
- Run edge of a blunt knife around the pies, and carefully lift them out. Serve hot or cold.