Rabbit and Forcemeat Pie


serves 4
175 g (6 oz) plain flour; and 30 ml (2 tbsp)
40 g (1 1/2 oz) butter, cut into small pieces
40 g (1 1/2 oz) lard, cut into small pieces
about 45 ml (3 tbsp) water
4 rabbit portions 600 g (1 1/4 lb) total weight
30 ml (2 tbsp) oil
225 g (8 oz) button mushrooms, wiped
225 g (8 oz) small onions, skinned and quartered
1 garlic clove, skinned and crushed
100 ml (4 fl oz) port
300 ml (1/2 pint) stock
12 juniper berries, crushed
350 g (12 oz) sausagemeat
45 ml (3 tbsp) chopped parsley
30 ml (2 tbsp) made english mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Make the pastry: sift the 175 g (6 oz) flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl and rub in the fat until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs and add just enough water to mix to a firm dough. Cover and chill for about 20 minutes.

2. Toss the rabbit portions in the remaining flour.

3. Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the mushrooms, onions and garlic until beginning to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to a 1.7 litre (3 pint) pie dish.

4. In the same pan, brown the rabbit portions. Stir in the port, stock and juniper berries. Bring to the boil, scraping any sediment from the bottom and add to the pie dish.

5. Mix together the sausagemeat, parsley, mustard and seasoning. Shape into eight balls and add to the pie dish.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and cover the pie dish. Make a hole in the centre. Bake at 190°C (375°F) mark 5 for 30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and lower the temperature to 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for a further 1 hour.

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