I know, I know!; for someone who wants a pet bunny so badly it seems cruel to have one for dinner. But it is a much more common protein over here in the UK, and when I saw them offered at the farmer’s market last month, I knew I wanted to try cooking it.
Additionally, I know this post may not be very useful for everyday cooking, since rabbit is not commonly found in the supermarket in the US or UK (though in the UK it is easily available at butchers, farm shops, and farmers market) and it is a little time consuming (but not overly complicated). However, this way if you ever find yourself in a Roger and Me, or Fatal Attraction type situation you’ll know what to do.
In addition to rabbit (including bunny burgers) this month’s farmers market also sold tamales & homemade salsas, sausages, bacon, crisps (potato chips), baked goods, produce, and a wide variety of cheeses. I picked up some brownies for dessert.
I based my rabbit pie recipe off of this one, but modified so I didn’t have to buy any specialty ingredients that I probably wouldn’t use frequently and added more vegetables; because that’s what rabbits eat 🙂 The original recipe said it served 4. I don’t think I added too much volume with the extra vegetables, but my pie filled a lasagna pan, and could serve anywhere from 6-9 people depending on portions & appetites.
Rub rosemary, thyme, zest, and lemon juice on the rabbits and leave to rest while you chop the other ingredients:
Chop vegetables and bacon:
Saute onions & sear the rabbits for 10 minutes:
Add bacon and fry for 10 minutes. Then add carrots & mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes:
Add seared rabbits to the dutch oven; then add broth & ‘wee dram’ of whiskey:
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 90 minutes:
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
After 90 minutes remove the rabbits; let cool; then pick the meat off of the bones. (I recommend doing this with your hands because then you can tear the meat into the size pieces you want and it will minimize the amount of small bones that make their way into the pie – they’re boney!):
If you need to (I didn’t) reduce the broth in the dutch oven until it is the same height as the vegetables. (About an inch of liquid at the bottom of a large dutch oven.) Then add the heavy cream and shredded rabbit meat back into the pot.
Pour into lasagna pan; brush the edges of the pan with beaten egg. Roll out puff pastry to fit pan with some overhang. Brush with remaining egg and pierce with a fork.
Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Enjoy as your dinner! (the vegetables or already inside!), or with a side salad if you are serving a large group and divide it 9 ways.
- 2 small rabbits
- juice & zest of one lemon
- 4 tbsp of rosemary
- 4 tbsp of thyme
- 2 tbsp of oil
- 6 slices of bacon, chopped (smoked streaky bacon)
- 3 small onions, chopped
- 4 carrots, cut into coins & quartered
- 2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 shot of whiskey
- 1/2 of peppercorns
- 1.25 cups of heavy cream (300 mL of double cream)
- puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- Rub rosemary, thyme, & lemon zest onto the rabbits and squeeze lemon juice on top. Allow to sit while you chop the other ingredients.
- Chops onions, carrots, mushrooms, and bacon.
- Heat a medium non-stick pan to medium-high heat. Brown the outsides of the rabbits.
- Heat oil in a dutch oven on medium high. Saute onions for 10 minutes. Add chopped bacon and fry for 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and carrots and fry to 5 minutes.
- Add browned rabbits to the dutch oven. Pour chicken broth and whisky over the rabbits. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 90 minutes.
- After 90 minutes take the rabbits out of the broth and allow to cool. Once cool, shred the rabbit meat off the bones.
- Continue to boil broth until it about level with the vegetables in the dutch oven. (The gas on my stove had trouble staying on low without turning off, so as the rabbits braised I lost a lot of liquid, so I didn’t have to reduce the broth.)
- Preheat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit (200 degree Celsius)
- Add cream, rabbit meat, and peas into broth.
- Put filling into a lasagna pan. Brush edges with beaten egg.
- Lightly flour counter top and roll out puff pastry to fit over your pan. Top your pie, there should be about an inch of overhang.
- Brush top of the pastry with the egg. Piece the top all over with a fork.
- Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden. Let sit for 10 minutes.