For this recipe you will need a wedge of rough puff pastry. Shop bought pastry is perfectly fine, however if you'd like to make the entire pie from scratch you can follow our very simple recipe for Rough Puff Pastry for Perfect Pies Here.
Place a heavy bottomed ovenproof pan over a high heat.
To the pan, add a little of your choice of fat, we like to use either Organic British Rapeseed Oil or a teaspoon of our Native Breed Lard. Please do avoid using olive oil as you need a fat that can take a high heat.
Once the fat is smoking hot, season the rabbit and carefully place it into the pan. Leave it for around 2-3 minutes before turning. Once the rabbit is beautifully caramelised, remove it from the pan and set it to one side.
To the pan, add the bacon lardons and allow them to render down until they are crisp and golden. This will take just a few minutes. Once crips, remove from the pan and set to one side.
Turn down the heat of the hob and add a little butter, allow it to foam and then add the onions, garlic, celery and bay leaves. Allow the veg to cook down until they have become translucent. This will take about 6-7 minutes.
Turn the heat back up and then add the cider, allowing it to bubble up and rapidly boil. Allow this to cook off for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced by half and started to become sticky.
Turn the heat down a touch and pour in the warm stock.
Add the rabbit and bacon lardons back to the pan. Turn the heat down so the pan is gently bubbling away and not boiling or simmering. Place the lid on and leave to cook for about 1 1/2 hours, checking from time to time that the liquid doesn't need a top up.
Once the rabbit is tender, carefully lift it from the pan and leave it to cool enough to handle.
Preheat the oven to 190C.
In a small bowl add a knob of butter and a tablespoon of flour and combine together to create a paste or a 'roux'. Dollop in a little roux and whisk as you go to encourage the sauce to thicken.
Once the rabbit meat has cooled, carefully strip it from the bone and add the shredded meat back to the pan.
Pour in the cream and add any fresh garden herbs, we like to use tarragon, rosemary or sage, but you could use chives, or parsley too. Season to taste.
Roll out the rough puff pasty and place over the pan. Generously douse in egg wash and add two air holes so the steam can escape from the pie.
Place into the oven and bake for around 20 minutes, or until your pastry is crispy and golden. Remove from the oven and serve with seasonal greens and seasonal mash.