Matt Buzzo of Waterside Bistro in Totnes shares his recipe for rabbit and ham pie. Now is the best time to makes this seasonal classic as wild rabbit is at its largest and most juicy July through to November.
Wild rabbit 1, skinned and jointed
Green gammon ham 500g, diced
Onion 1, peeled and cut in half
Bay leaf 1
White peppercorns 10
Plain flour 125g
Double cream 100ml
Coarse grain mustard 2 tbsp
Parsley handful, chopped
Salt and pepper
Egg 1, beaten with an equal quantity of milk
Puff pastry 1 x 5oog pack
- Place the rabbit and ham in a large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer, then discard the water.
- Start again, this time adding the onion, carrot, celery, bay and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and leave to gently bubble for about 2 hours until the meats are very tender.
- Remove the vegetables, bay and peppercorns. Reserve the cooking stock.
- To make the sauce, cook a roux using the butter and flour and slowly ladle in the stock beating well after each addition until the sauce is thick enough to just coat the back of a spoon. You will not necessarily use all the stock.
- Pick the meat from the rabbit and mix it into the sauce with the ham, cream and mustard. Taste, and season if necessary. Add the parsley and allow to cool.
- To make the pie, cut the pastry into a third for the lid and two thirds for the bottom. On a floured work surface roll out the pastry and line a pie dish. Place the pie funnel in the middle, fill around it with rabbit and ham.
- Egg wash the edges of the pastry and place the lid over. Crimp around the edges to seal and cut a hole for the funnel to let the steam escape (if you don’t have a funnel just snip a crossed hole with scissors).
- Egg wash the top and bake at 170°c/gas 3 for 1½ hours.