Rabbit & Parsnip Pie


by: Jenny Eatwell

Honouring the humble rabbit.


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serves: 6

1 leek, quartered and chopped

3 tbsp olive oil (each tbsp used individually)

1 pieces wild rabbit, jointed into 6 or 500g diced rabbit

2-3 tbsp plain flour

tsp half a sea salt

tsp half a black pepper

3 rashers back bacon, diced finely

1 small carrot, peeled & finely diced

1 stick celery, de-strung and finely diced

1 onion, finely diced

3 mushrooms, halved and sliced

2-3 leaves bay

tsp half a dried thyme

1 pieces parsnip, cut into bite sized

500ml strong chicken or vegetable low salt stock

3 semi dried prunes, sliced finely

1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped finely

300g plain flour

100g Atora shredded suet (I use vegetable suet)

100g butter

120ml sparkling mineral water (although tap water will do)

sea salt

an egg, beaten, to glaze

Nutrition Facts
Rabbit & Parsnip Pie

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Amount per Serving

Calories: 549

  • Total Fat: 26.3 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 11 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 136.7 mg
  • Sodium: 610.1 mg
  • Total Carbs: 51.7 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 3.9 g
  •     Sugars: 5.7 g
  • Protein: 26.5 g

how is this calculated?

Download Nutrition Facts Widget Code


1.  Begin by making the pastry. Place the flour into a large bowl and add the suet, butter and sea salt. Rub the fat into the pastry by rubbing it between your fingertips, until you have what appears to be a cross between cornflake shapes and breadcrumbs.

2.  Add the water gradually - you may not need the whole amount, or you may need a little more - mixing with a knife and patting and pushing the dough together to form a ball.

3.  Once the pastry has formed a ball, wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to rest.

4.  Take a large, deep frying pan and add enough olive oil - up to 1 tbsp - to cook the leek in. Heat over a moderate heat and add the leek. The object of the exercise is to cook the leek without any browning or caramelisation. You want soft leeks with bright green colour still. Once cooked (around 10 mins) remove from the pan and reserve.

5.  If the rabbit isn't already jointed, cut it into six joints - the two back legs, saddle, ribcage and two front legs.

6.  Place the flour, sea salt & black pepper into a large plastic bag and shake to combine. Add the rabbit pieces and give a good old shake about, to dredge the rabbit with the flour.

7.  Add another tbsp of olive oil to the pan and heat over a high heat. Once really hot, add the first three rabbit joints and sear them until golden. Remove into a casserole dish and retain. Repeat the process for the next three rabbit joints.

8.  Reduce the heat under the pan and add the bacon. Cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon is just beginning to colour.

9.  Add onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms and bay leaves and a little (100ml) water to mobilise whatever oil is in the pan and deglaze the pan base, which will steam the vegetables until the water has evaporated, then fry the vegetables. Aim for a slight colouring and softened vegetables. Add the thyme and parsnip and decant the vegetables into the casserole dish.

10.  Pour the stock into the frying pan and heat it through until just boiling. Decant into the casserole dish, cover the casserole and place into a pre-heated oven at 170degC/325degF/Gas 3 for the next 2 hours.

11.  When the two hours are up, remove the rabbit onto a plate and using a slotted spoon, sieve out the vegetables into a bowl. Decant the remaining stock into a small saucepan and reserve.

12.  Place the stock onto a moderate heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the quantity until the flavour of the stock is sufficiently intense - you will probably have reduced it by half and it will have thickened somewhat. You can then spoon any excess oil from the top of the stock.

13.  Remove the meat from the rabbit bones and discard the bones. Place the chunks of meat into another bowl and add the leek, prunes and parsley along with sufficient of the casserole vegetables to make up the quantities for your pie dish.

14.  Add two or three tbsp of reduced stock to the pie filling and stir gently to combine. Set aside to cool completely while you roll out the pastry.

15.  Cut the pastry ball into one third/two thirds and re-wrap the two thirds. Roll out the one third to the correct size to line your pie dish. Lay it into the pie dish and make sure no air bubbles are between the pastry and the dish. Trim to size.

16.  Add the cooled pie filling, heaping it towards the centre of the dish. Press down lightly as you go, you want to have as deeply filled a pie as is possible.

17.  Using the beaten egg, brush a little egg wash around the pastry edge.

18.  Roll out the two thirds piece of pastry to a size larger than the pie dish, that will cover the filling and comfortably meet the edges of the pastry. Lay the rolled out pastry over the pie and smooth it down to the edges. Press the pastry lightly over the egg washed edges, then using a decorative knife point, or fork, or any other method of your choosing, press an attractive pattern into the edge which will not only look nice but will secure the two pastry pieces together. Trim the pastry neatly and remove the excess.

19.  Neatly cut a hole into the top of the pie and give the pastry a good coating with egg wash. If you're feeling creative, you can now cut some leaves, or a likkle rabbit, out of the excess pastry to decorate your pie with. Lay the decoration onto the egg washed pastry and give them their own coating of egg wash.

20.  The pie is now ready for baking! Place into a pre-heated oven at 180degC/350degF/Gas 4 for 45 - 50 minutes or so. Keep an eye on the pastry in the last 10 minutes, you are aiming for a golden top with discernibly golden pastry sides (presuming your pie dish is transparent, that is!).

21.  Once baked and when you remove your pie from the oven, remember to take a moment to appreciate your creation. You've taken enough time to bring it to life, a bit of appreciation before you cut it and destroy its natural beauty, is only right and proper.

22.  Serve the pie with seasonal vegetables of your choice and the remaining stock as gravy.

Cooks' note:
For all that this recipe takes a while, it is worth every single minute.

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