Rabbit pie with Cornish Ale

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‘Growing up with a Grandfather who lived and breathed the countryside, rabbit on the table was as familiar to me as chicken is to most people. It was simply cooked in a pot for hours with carrots and onions, but that aroma and taste is, and always be, unforgettable to me.’

This recipe by Neil Haydock is featured in The New West Country Cook Book by David Griffen.


Serves 4-6
Prep: 30 minutes plus 30 minutes soaking
Cooking: 2 hours plus cooling time


1 rabbit, jointed
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
400ml chicken stock
200ml blonde beer
3 medium leeks, washed and finely sliced
40g butter
40g flour
Salt and ground white pepper
250g ready-rolled butter puff pastry
1 egg yolk


– Soak the rabbit joints in cold water for 30 minutes to clean and whiten the flesh.
– Drain the rabbit and place into a saucepan with the carrot, onion, bay leaf, thyme, chicken stock and beer.
– Bring to the simmer and remove any scum.
– Cook for about 1 hour – or until the rabbit is tender.
– Drain the stock and set aside.
– Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
– Take the rabbit pieces and place into a large pie dish, discarding the carrot, onion, bay leaf and thyme.
– Bring the stock back to the boil and add the leeks.
– Cook until tender.
– Mix the flour and butter into a paste and add to the stock.
– Stir until the stock starts to thicken.
– Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes.
– Season with salt and pepper.
– Pour the sauce over the rabbit pieces.
– Allow to cool before covering with puff pastry.
– Crimp the edges and brush with the egg yolk.
– Place the pie into the over for 20-25 minutes until rich golden brown.