Rabbit pot pie with loads of carrots and a creamy cider and crème fraiche sauce baked under a crisp and easy-to-make golden suet crust pastry.
This recipe takes a while to cook, but you can make the filling a day or two in advance and the pastry takes minutes to make with no resting time needed.
Us brits are kind of obsessed with wrapping things in pastry and have a proud history of pie-making.
This pretty traditional braised rabbit pie is a stunning and easy segue into pie making.
There are some who say a pie is not a pie unless it has a pastry bottom too, those people are wrong!
In this recipe, we gently cook rabbit in a cider sauce with thyme and some chunky carrots, then creme fraiche is added to make a creamy sauce.
Then add a suet crust pastry to seal the pie and cook it until golden. To my mind, a suet crust pastry is the easiest of all pastries to make and it tastes fantastic.
You get a lovely homely soggy bottom reminiscent of dumplings with a beautifully crisp top.
Frequently Asked Questions
That sounds like a lot of meat is that right?
Yes, the rabbit is a bony beast and you will get enough meat for two from 500-600g (19oz) of bone in rabbit meat. It will yield around 275g (10oz)
What cut of rabbit should I get?
I aim to use a mix of cuts, they are readily available here. But you can get a whole rabbit and roughly cut it up.
The loin is delicious and succulent and the legs offer a stronger flavour and more texture.
Should I use farmed or wild rabbit?
It’s pretty rare to get the choice, those of us who like to cook rabbit have to cook what we can get. Wild rabbit has a better flavour but is often up and down in terms of the tenderness of the meat.
Farmed rabbit is much more tender and consistent in its quality, but has a very subtle flavour. I have added alternative times for cooking both wild and farmed rabbit in the recipe.
What cider should I use?
This question is one often asked by my American-based readers. Cider to us Europeans is booze, so buy a dry hard cider, do not make this with what is branded as apple cider in the US.
After that use whatever you like, I always go for a bone-dry apple cider. But a dry perry (pear cider) would also be wonderful
Can I use store-bought pastry?
Yes, I use suet pastry here as I love the texture and it is outrageously easy to make.
But feel free to use store-bought puff or shortcrust pastry.
I love to serve this simple and easy rabbit pie with some equally simple boiled and buttered new potatoes and peas.
But it would be equally good with this potato pave if you wanted to fancy it up a little.
Don’t forget the greens though, my simple quick air fried asparagus would be great in spring.
Green beans are great from frozen which makes this green beans amandine a perfect addition throughout the year.
I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- 20cm or 8″ saucepan with a lid.
- 15cm or 6″ saucepan.
- Kitchen tongs and stirring spoons.
- Kitchen knife.
- Chopping board.
- Mixing bowl and fork to make the pastry.
- Rolling pin.
- Baking parchment.
- Weighing scales and or a combination of a measuring jug cups and spoons.
- Pie dishes. Mine have a capacity of 375ml (1½ Cups) and are 12cm (4-5″) in diameter and 4cm (½”) deep.
This delicious savoury braised rabbit pot pie features succulent chunks of subtly flavoured rabbit wrapped in a silky cider sauce with a wonderful crisp suet pastry topping.
For the Filling:
- 550-600g (19oz) Bone in Rabbit Pieces
- 500ml (2 Cups) Dry Cider
- 2 Medium (70g Total) Banana Shallots
- 50g (1 Stick) Celery
- 300g (2 Cups) Carrots
- 3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 1 Bay Leaf
- ½ Tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 2 Tbsp Rapeseed (Canola) Oil
- 500ml (2 Cups) Chicken Stock
- 125ml (½ Cup) Creme Fraiche
- 20g (½ Packed Cup) Fresh Parsley
For the Suet Crust Pastry
- 90g (1 Cup) Dried Beef Suet
- 140g (1⅓ Cup) Self Raising Flour
- ½ Tsp Dried Thyme Leaves
- ½ Tsp Salt
- 75ml (⅓ Cup) Water
- 1 Egg (for egg washing the pastry)
- Pour the cider into a 15cm or 6" saucepan, bring it to a boil and reduce it by around two-thirds, you should have around 175ml (¾ Cup) left.
- Cut the shallots in half, peel them and then dice them as finely as you can.
- Cut the celery into a 5mm (¼") dice.
- Peel the carrots (if needed) then cut them into quarters then into 5-7mm (¼+") pieces.
Season the rabbit pieces with the salt and then dredge them with 1 tablespoon of flour.
- Heat a 20cm or 8" saucepan over a medium-high heat and when it is hot add the rapeseed oil.
- Brown the rabbit pieces in the oil until they are lightly golden, then set them aside on a plate.
- Add the dice shallot, carrot, celery and thyme to the pan and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat.
- Return the browned rabbit pieces, add the bay leaf and pour over the reduced cider and chicken stock. Reduce the heat to very low, add a lid and simmer gently for 40 minutes for farmed rabbit, 60-70 minutes for wild rabbit.
- When the rabbit has been cooked, take the pan off the heat and allow the rabbit to cool in the stick until it is cool enough to handle, then remove the rabbit from the stock, remove it from the bone and roughly chop it up. This should result in around 275g or 10oz of meat.
- Strain the cooking juices into a mixing bowl and pick out the veggies adding them to the rabbit meat. You will likely not need all of the vegetables.
- Return the stock to the pan (you will have around 750ml or 3 cups), place the pan over a high heat and reduce it by half.
- Whisk the remaining flour into the creme fraiche, then whisk this mix into the hot stock over a low heat until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Chop the parsley, add it to the sauce and have a taste adding salt if required.
- Use the bowls to make a template of baking parchment by drawing around an upturned bowl and cutting a circle.
- Divide the pie filling into two 12cm (4-5") in diameter and 4cm (½") deep pie dishes.
- Pour the sauce evenly into the two bowls, you should have just enough to leave 5-7mm (¼") at the top of the bowl.
- Place the dry ingredients for the pastry into a mixing bowl and mix with a fork.
- Pour in most of the water and mix adding the final bit of water to form a fairly firm and not sticky dough.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to around 4-5mm (between ⅛-¼") Then cut out two rounds using the template that you made earlier, then cut a hole in the centre of each round, I use the tip of a piping bag.
- Cover each pie with a suet pastry circle, pushing the pastry into the sides but leaving the edges poking up, these will go lovely and crisp.
- Beat the egg and brush the pastry with some egg wash and place the pies in the oven and bake at 180°C or 350°F for 35-40 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1285Total Fat: 67gSaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 233mgSodium: 3103mgCarbohydrates: 86gFiber: 8gSugar: 26gProtein: 63g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.