Monday, 18 January 2010

Rabbit and Tuscan Kale Pie

The sage infused olive oil marinade for the poached & shredded rabbit meat.

A recent tasting for a forthcoming summer banquet where rabbit was a request has been the spark which has set me on a rabbit mission. I have talked rabbit with as many people as I could and experimented with rabbit as never before. The final dish was a big success with my tasting panel and my harshest critics.

An Italian inspired method of brining the bunny, poaching it, stripping all the meat and marinating it in olive oil has been my personal favourite way. I can't stand lots of little bones; this way all the meat gently falls off and is then marinated in a sage infused olive oil. Left in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, there is no end to what you can do with it.

I have added it to risotto, pasta and tomato sauce (check out Mark Gilchrist on You Tube for some great rabbit tips), a salad with bitter leaves and of course the new creation for a summer banquet.

Whilst riding on the crest of all things rabbit I made a rabbit and tuscan kale pie tonight. Rabbit pie is honest and evocative of the old days, this is what my mother used to eat and I had never made one before. I had some luscious and squeeky Tuscan kale or cavello nero as it is otherwise known. Tuscan kale is one of my favourite greens. You will feel instantly better for eating it. These dark green brassicas are overflowing with goodness, with a list as long as your arm of nutrients and trace minerals.

This recipe uses the meat which I had put in a brine for 12 hours, then poached for 2 hours, then stripped all the meat from the carcass. If you are going to keep it then submerge in a good olive oil, some torn sage leaves and seasoning. Otherwise get it into a pie......

Rabbit Pie

  • Meat from one brined & poached rabbit.
  • 2 large shallots
  • knob of butter
  • 1Tablespoon plain flour
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Half a head of Tuscan kale
  • 300ml good chicken stock
  • Splash of white wine
  1. First steam some finely shredded kale and set aside.
  2. Fry a large shallot in butter and then add some garlic and thyme.
  3. Add a dessertspoon of plain flour and mix to form a roux and add some fresh chicken stock.
  4. Add a splash of white wine (this is basically a veloute).
  5. Add the poached and stripped rabbit meat.
  6. Add the chopped kale.
  7. Check seasoning
  8. Pile this mixture into either individual pie dishes or a large one and cover with a lid of pastry. (I used a home made short crust) But would have used the fabulous Dorset Pastry if I had some in my fridge. Baste with milk. Egg is even nicer. 
  9.  Baked in oven at 180C for 25 minutes.

I made roast potatoes with the marinade olive oil and added some paprika which worked very well.

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