Bearing in mind that this is National Pie Week, here is a recipe for rabbit pie from the 1930’s. The eating of rabbit would have been far more common then and the ongoing improvement in the regulation of oven temperatures was becoming far more reliable, allowing for a better finished product.
1 large rabbit,
A good pinch of cumin,
½ lb boiled ham shank, diced,
1 tbsp chopped parsley,
½ tbsp chopped sage,
Juice and zest of one lemon,
4 shallots, quartered,
1 large carrot, diced,
1 large bay leaf,
Salt and Pepper,
½ pt of well seasoned stock. (bone or vegetable)
½ lb of rough-puff pastry.
Joint the rabbit, sprinkle with cumin and brown in hot oil. Remove the rabbit into a casserole and set to one side. In a knob of butter, colour the ham, shallot and carrot. Remove and add to the rabbit.
Deglaze the pan with the ½ pt of stock then add the lemon, lemon zest, parsley, sage and bay leaf and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour over the rabbit (removing the bay leaf) and season. Cook in the oven for 1 hour at Regulo 1 (145C).
When cold, arrange the rabbit etc., in a pie dish with ½ the stock.. Cover with the pastry, cut a centre hole, and glaze with an egg yolk let down with a little water. Bake at Regulo 7 (220C) for 35-45 minutes.
Thicken the remaining stock with 1 tbs of flour and serve separately.
Serve with braised parsnips and baked potatoes.
Should you not wish to go to the time and trouble of making your own pastry, there are many good products available ready-made on the market.