You don't get more frugal than free!
While I had to pay for most of the ingredients in this pie the rabbit itself was donated by my youngest daughter's boyfriend.
Whenever I am faced with a wild rabbit to cook I make this pie and it is always well received.
There is no guarantee of age or tenderness with a wild rabbit so I always begin the day before I want the pie and cook the rabbit in the slow cooker.
I added a few ingredients to enhance the flavour of the stock as it will be used in the sauce for the pie.
- The washed top and bottom of an onion skin and all - no point in wasting a full onion when it is only for flavouring and will be discarded, so I use the trimmings from an onion used in another recipe. (If you want to be really frugal you can save these in the freezer for just such a purpose - I don't but maybe I should!)
- A washed and unpeeled carrot well past it's best. - Again it's not going to be eaten and so dosen't need to be pristine. If I have been preparing carrots for another dish I have sometimes used the washed peelings and trimmings to flavour the stock.
- Some herbs - I used a couple of sprigs of rosemary from the plant in my front garden, a tiny few sprigs of thyme that were barely clinging to life again from said garden, a dried bayleaf and some parsley from the freezer. I buy any whoopsied bags of herbs from the supermarket especially if they are reduced right down to 10p. Pop them in the freezer, just as they are and crumble bits off the frozen herb as needed.
Next day remove the rabbit and pick off all the lovely meat, being careful to leave any bones behind. Strain the stock and then use both meat and stock in the rabbit pie, recipe below.
Rather Delicious Rabbit Pie
Cooked rabbit - prepared as above.
1/2 pint of reserved rabbit stock.
1/2 pint milk.
1 heaped tablespoon flour
1 oz butter (NOT margarine please. - It is just not the same!)
2 hard boiled eggs.
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard.
Salt and pepper.
Ready made (All butter) puff pastry.
Place the rabbit in your pie dish. Quarter the eggs and arrange them among the chunks of rabbit. Mix the stock and milk together. *Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the flour - combine them quickly and ensuring that you stir constantly cook over a medium heat for 30 seconds or so. Take off the heat and add the stock/milk gradually. At first add only a little at a time and beat the mixture furiously after each addition. Once about 1/4 of the liquid has been added you can usually add the rest all at once. If your sauce looks a little lumpy at any stage just use a balloon whisk and beat furiously and it should all be ok. Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil stirring constantly. Once boiled and thickened remove the sauce and add the mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the rabbit and eggs. Roll out the pastry and use to top the pie. I tend to brush the top of my pastry with milk - too stingy to use an egg. I also like to score a fancy pattern in the top, but that is only because I like the look of it. Bake in a hot oven until the pastry is well risen and golden.
*If you are a little nervous about using the "roux" method to make your sauce bung the flour, butter and cold milk/stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil whilst stirring constantly. You will still get a lovely smooth sauce, I just feel that using the classic method results in a slightly creamier sauce, but I may be wrong!
I served ours with roasties, carrots and purple sprouting broccoli - Yum!!