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Maggie Beer

Approved   rabbit prune lemon pie with pickled eggplant 7

Rabbit, Prune & Pancetta Pies

Approved   rabbit prune lemon pie with pickled eggplant 7

Step 1: Zest and Juice the lemons. Put the prunes and lemon juice in a bowl with half the lemon zest and soak them overnight, or microwave on high for 2 minutes. Chop each reconstituted prune into 4 pieces. Cut the front and back legs away from the rabbits and remove the kidneys and livers from the saddles. Set the saddles aside for another dish. Put the rabbit legs, kidneys and livers into a flat glass dish with the remaining lemon zest and the olive oil, thyme, sage and pepper. Toss and leave to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour.

Step 2: Melt butter in a deep, heavy-based frying pan and gently seal the roughly chopped kidneys and livers, then remove and set aside. Seal the rabbit pieces in the same pan, then remove from the pan and set aside. Roughly chop the pancetta, adding it to the pan with the onion and cook until caramelised. Return the rabbit to the pan and deglaze it with the Verjuice. Turn the heat down, then stand the pan on a simmer pad and simmer very gently for 20 minutes, With the lid slightly ajar. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Take the meat off the bones and cut it into 1.5cm dice, then combine with the kidney and liver (this should make about 3 1/2cups). Toss With the ingredients in the pan over a gentle heat. Add the prunes and lemon juice, the reduced stock and the parsley, then season with salt and pepper - the gentle heating of all the ingredients combines the flavours beautifully.

Step 4: Make a paste (roux) with the flour and 1 heaped teaspoon butter. (Ideally. I'd prefer to remove the rabbit meat before thickening the sauce. If you don't feel up to this, just remember to be very careful while incorporating the roux so that you don't overcook the meat.) Bring the pan back to a fast simmer and slowly 'whisk in the paste in small amounts to thicken the mixture. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Step 5: Make and chill the pastry as instructed. Roll out the chilled pastry, then line 6 small pie dishes, such as dariole moulds, leaving a lip, and cut lids to fit. Refrigerate the pastry cases and lids for 20 minnutes. Divide the filling between the chilled pastry cases. lightly mix the egg and milk, then brush this over the pastry lids. Position the lids egg-side down on the pies. Using a fork, press down around the edge of each pie to seal and trim away any excess pastry. Refrigerate the pies while heating the oven to 200°C.

Step 6: Stand the pies on a baking tray and egg-wash the lids. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before turning out.

Ingredients

  1. 1 lemon
  2. 10 prunes pitted
  3. 3 slices pancetta
  4. 2 medium brown onion cut into sixths
  5. 50ml 1/4 cup Verjuice
  6. 250ml Chicken Stock very reduced
  7. 1 tbspn fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
  8. Sour cream pastry step by step 14
    You'll need to make: 1 batch Sour Cream Pastry
  9. 1 tbspn milk

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