Anna Burges-Lumsden's rabbit, pheasant and bacon pie will put your frozen summer bunnies and this season's bag to good use all in one go
Defrost those summer bunnies and put them with this season’s bag in Anna Burges-Lumsden’s rabbit, pheasant and bacon pie. The former deputy Food Editor at Delicious shares how to make a wonderfully creamy pie. This will definitely impress your guests.
If you’ve been stalking rather than rabbit shooting, try Tom’s Pies’ venison pie recipe. Handmade in Devon and hugely popular in winter, now you can recreate these delightful pastry parcels at home.
ANNA BURGES-LUMSDEN’S RABBIT, PHEASANT AND BACON PIE
Photography © Andrew Hayes-Watkins
Former deputy Food Editor at Delicious, Anna is a recipe writer and food stylist working alongside chefs such as Nigella Lawson, Nigel Slater, The Hairy Bikers and Gordon Ramsey as well as behind the scenes on television shows such as The Great British Menu and Masterchef. www.annabl.com
Anna Burges-Lumsden’s rabbit, pheasant and bacon pie can easily be frozen. Make to the end of point 6, wrap in cling film and foil and freeze for 1 month. Unwrap and bake from frozen adding 15-20 minutes to the cooking time or until the filling is piping hot and the pastry is golden brown.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 rabbit legs
- 1 pheasant
- 200ml white wine
- 400ml hot chicken or game stock (plus extra if necessary)
- 3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 200g smoked bacon lardons
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
- 2 leeks, thickly sliced
- 50g butter
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- 320g all butter ready rolled puff pastry
- Steamed, buttered greens or peas, to serve
THE METHOD. PREPARING THE PIE
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy based casserole pan, season the rabbit legs all over and then fry on all sides for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Remove the skin and excess fat from the pheasant, cut off the legs, season the crown and the legs with salt and pepper and then brown over a high heat in the pan until golden all over. Add the rabbit legs back to the pan, add the wine, turn up the heat and bubble for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock and thyme and bay leaves, bring to the boil, turn down the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 45 minutes or until the meat is tender and coming away from the bones.
Meanwhile, fry the bacon for 3 minutes, add the mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the sliced leeks and fry for another 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the leeks to the cooked bacon and mushrooms and set aside.
Once the rabbit and pheasant are cooked, remove from the heat, drain through a colander and reserve the cooking liquor. You will need 500-550ml of cooking liquor to make the sauce so top this up with more chicken stock if it has reduced too much. Remove the bones and bay leaves and discard. Tear or chop the meat into bite size pieces and set aside.
Melt the butter in another large non-stick saucepan, add the flour and stir to make a thick paste. Cook over a medium heat for 1 minute stirring constantly. Slowly add 500-550ml of the cooking liquor a little at a time from the casserole dish, whisking constantly until it thickens to the consistency of thick double cream. Add the bacon and leeks, rabbit and pheasant meat and stir together. Season to taste and set aside to cool.
BAKING THE PIE
Preheat the oven to 200C. Spoon the cooled filling into a 1.5 litre pie dish with a 1cm flat ridge around the top. Brush the edges of the dish with beaten egg, unroll the pastry and place over the top of the filling. You can use a ceramic pie bird in the middle to hold up the pastry and allow the steam to escape. Cut a small hole in the pastry and push the pie bird through the hole. Press the edges to seal tightly with a fork and trim the edges with a small sharp knife. Cut out leaves, holly or rabbits using pastry cutters (whatever tickles your fancy) with the leftover pastry. Brush the top of the pastry with more egg and decorate with your pastry shapes. Chill for 20 minutes or until the pastry is firm to touch.
Place Anna Burges-Lumsden’s rabbit, pheasant and bacon pie in the oven on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top and the filling is piping hot. Serve with buttered greens or peas.