- You will need a deep pie dish of about 1.25 litre (2pt) capacity, ideally enamelled
- 1 rabbit, skinned and gutted
- 2 leeks or 1 onion
- 225g (8oz) smoked bacon, or a small ham hock
- Zest of ½ lemon
- 50g (2oz) butter
- 40g (1½ oz) plain flour
- 570ml (1 pint) of stock from cooking the rabbit
- 2 tablespoons cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 275g (10oz) shortcrust pastry
- 1 beaten egg
Simmer the rabbit gently with the bacon or ham hock in water (just enough to cover the meat) until tender.
Wild rabbit will take longer than domesticated to cook, approximately 1½ hours or longer.
When cooked, save the cooking liquor for the sauce.
Once the rabbit is cool enough to handle, strip the meat from the rabbit bones and tear into bite-sized pieces.
Chop up the bacon.
Make a white sauce, melt the butter in a pan.
Once melted, add the flour, stir and cook for a few minutes, then add the cooking liquor a little at a time, stirring as it is added.
You will need 570ml (1 pint) of the stock in total.
When you have a thick sauce, add the cream, lemon zest and seasoning.
Steam the leeks until cooked and add them to the rabbit meat and bacon.
Stir in some white sauce, enough to bind the pie mix together, taste for seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 190C (375F, Gas mark 5).
Divide the pastry into two equal pieces.
Roll out the first piece thinly and line the pie dish.
Place the rabbit mixture into the pastry-lined dish and roll out the second piece.
Brush a little water around the edge of the dish and cover with the lid, pressing edges together.
Brush well with the beaten egg.
Bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 170C (325F, Gas 3) for a further 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
Cover with foil during cooking if browning too quickly.
Serve with purple sprouting broccoli.