Rabbit and wild mushroom pies

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large rabbit (about 1kg), jointed
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • ½ carrot, finely chopped
  • ½ leek, thinly sliced, white part only
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 250 ml each red wine and dry white wine
  • 1 litre hot chicken stock
  • 220 gm mixed mushrooms, such as pine mushrooms and Swiss browns
  • For brushing: eggwash
  • 1 375gm butter puff pastry sheet (see note)
  • To serve: green leaf salad (optional)
01   Preheat oven to 160C. Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat, add rabbit and cook, turning once, until golden (3-5 minutes). Transfer rabbit to a casserole, add celery, carrot, leek, thyme and garlic and set aside.
02   Simmer wine in a saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced by half (10-15 minutes). Add to casserole with stock, cover with a lid and braise in oven until meat is falling from the bone (1½-2 hours).
03   Remove rabbit from liquid, shred meat (discard bones) and transfer to a large bowl.
04   Strain braising liquid (discard skin, bones and solids) into a saucepan over medium heat and reduce by half (15-20 minutes). Set aside to cool, then add to rabbit meat.
05   Increase oven to 200C. Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat, add mushrooms and fry until golden (3-5 minutes), season to taste, then add to rabbit mxture. Divide rabbit mixture among four 400ml ceramic dishes, brush rims of dishes with eggwash.
06   Cut four 12cm-diamater rounds from pastry (size will vary with the size of your dishes; you need a 1cm border). Place over filling and press to seal edges. Pierce a small hole in centre of each pastry, brush with eggwash and bake until golden and cooked through (12-15 minutes). Serve hot with green leaf salad.
Note We use Carême butter puff pastry, which comes in 375gm sheets. If unavailable, substitute another butter puff pastry.

This recipe is from the August 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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