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Poacher's Pie

Rabbit recipes feature widely in the traditional cooking of the Eastern Counties because there used to be a big surplus of wild rabbits and hares, which were partially controlled by shooting for game. If wild rabbit is not available, use commercially produced meat, on sale in many supermarkets.

ingredients

serves 4
225 g (8 oz) plain flour
salt and pepper
50 g (2 oz) butter
50 g (2 oz)lard
450 g (1 lb) boneless rabbit, skinned and cubed
100 g (4 oz) streaky bacon rashers, rinded and chopped
2 medium potatoes, sliced
1 medium leek, trimmed, sliced and washed
15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) mixed dried herbs
chicken stock
1 egg, beaten, to glaze

method

1. Put the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl and rub in the butter and lard until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 45 - 60 ml (3 - 4 tbsp) cold water and mix to form a firm dough.

2. Fill a 1.7 litre (3 pint) pie dish with alternate layers of rabbit, bacon and vegetables, sprinkling with seasoning and herbs. Half-fill with stock.

3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to
5 cm (2 inches) wider than the top of the dish. Cut a 2.5 cm (1 inch) strip from the outer edge and line the dampened rim of the dish. Dampen the pastry rim and cover with the pastry lid. Trim and seal the edges. Make a hole in the centre to let the steam escape.

4. Decorate with pastry leaves and brush with egg. Bake in the oven at 190°C (375°F) mark 5 for 30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil, then reduce to 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for a further hour. Serve hot.

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