A surprising fruit flavour appears in the rabbit pie

A surprising fruit flavour appears in the rabbit pie

Green Pickled Peaches
Chris Chen

When I hear people describe tropical fruits it’s often with reference to something familiar in their flavour, rather than taking their complexity as a given. This has made me consider how it might be possible to surprise with a flavour combination. I wanted to capture flavour in a sealed environment and a pastry casing is one of my favourite methods to do so. This pie is deliberately designed to fall apart; technically minded perfectionists will hate its messiness (no apologies forthcoming).

For the pastry


Quantity Ingredient
150g sour cream
1 egg, beaten
20g fresh yeast, crumbled
or 10g dried yeast
250g cold unsalted butter, diced
50g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
500g plain flour

For the pie filling

Quantity Ingredient
350g rabbit meat, cut into strips
50ml dry sherry
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2cm piece of ginger, ulienned
6 spring onions, thinly sliced
90ml red sediment, (see glossary)
100g pine nuts, toasted until golden and fragrant
1 teaspoon tapioca or potato flour dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
light soy sauce, to season

For the rabbit sauce

Quantity Ingredient
500g rabbit bones, roughly chopped, (and rabbit legs if possible)
4cm piece of ginger, bruised
2 red asian shallots, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 litres brown chicken stock
100ml red rice wine
beaten egg white, for brushing
beaten egg yolk, for glazing


  1. Make the pastry:
  2. Prepare this the day before you need it. Warm the sour cream to blood temperature (test with your finger) and mix with the egg and yeast in a bowl. In a larger bowl work the butter into the caster sugar, salt and flour until evenly incorporated. Add the wet ingredients and bring the mixture together into a soft and pliant dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Make the pie filling:
  4. Marinate the rabbit meat in half the sherry for 1 hour. Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Quickly brown the rabbit in batches so that there’s no stewing of the meat, only quick frying. Set the rabbit meat aside. If the pan is clean (otherwise use a fresh one), add another tablespoon of oil and lightly fry the ginger. Add the spring onions and let them wilt. Add the red sediment and cook for 1–2 minutes for the ingredients to meld. Stir in the rabbit meat, pine nuts and remaining sherry and reduce the heat. Add the flour to thicken the mixture. Season with salt, white pepper and light soy sauce (it should be a little more salty than usual as it’s a pie filling). Take off the heat and cool completely in the fridge before using.
  5. Make the rabbit sauce:
  6. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Put the rabbit bones on a baking tray and roast to a dark golden colour. Transfer them to a pot and add the vegetables and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour. Strain into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until reduced by two-thirds. It should smell intense but not gluey. Finish by adding the red rice wine. Reheat the sauce for serving.
  7. Bake the pie:
  8. I suggest using a rectangular #an form (metal tart bracket) 25 x 10 cm, or a 20 cm tart tin with a removable base. Butter and flour the tin. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 4 mm. Cut a larger piece for the base of the pie and a slightly smaller piece for the top, taking into account overhang. Ease the pastry base into the tin, then spoon in the filling. Brush the pastry rim with egg white and cover with the pastry top. Press the pastry edges together to seal. Trim off the excess and crimp the rim. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake the pie for 20 minutes then glaze with egg yolk. Bake for another 10–20 minutes until the pastry is crisp and a dark burnished copper colour. I picture this served casually: have the pie in the centre of the table, cut a piece for each person and let them pour the sauce for themselves.
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