Recipe: Chef Eric Briffard’s Rabbit Meat Pie
The Michelin-starred chef at Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris shares a recipe based on a childhood favourite.
Ask Michelin-starred Executive Chef Eric Briffard of Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris what most influenced his culinary aspirations and his answer comes through loud and clear: the cooking of his mother and grandmother. Here’s one of his childhood favourites.
Rabbit Meat Pie
- 1 rabbit (saddle, thigh and liver), 1.8kg
- 300g puff pastry
- 1 bottle of Côtes du Rhône or Bordeaux wine
- 50ml peanut oil
- 30g butter
- 200g onions
- 100g carrots
- 30g celery
- 100g button mushrooms
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Bay leaf
- 2 juniper berries
- 1 egg
- 20ml brandy
- 50ml poultry (or pork) blood (usually available at Asian groceries)
- 20g butter
- Salt and pepper
- Acacia honey
In a saucepan, over high heat, bring wine to a boil, and then flambé the alcohol, before allowing it to cool.
Peel and cube all vegetables.
Cut the saddles and thighs of the rabbit into up to six pieces; set the liver aside.
When the wine is chilled, pour over the rabbit, add the peanut oil, vegetables, thyme, bay leaves, juniper berry, garlic, Cognac and marinate for 2 hours in refrigerator.
Remove the rabbit pieces, pat dry and brown in oil over high heat in a skillet.
Then remove the vegetables—setting the wine marinade aside—and fry with butter over high heat until browned.
Place rabbit and vegetables in a cast-iron pan over medium heat. Pour the wine marinade over them and cook, uncovered, at 210°C (410°F) for an hour in the oven.
Remove from oven and let stand for 30 minutes in the pan.
With a fork, remove the bones from the flesh and cut into chunks.
Strain the sauce; return it to the heat until it reduced by half. Add 20g of butter and set aside.
Roll out half of the puff pastry, place in dish and then place in the centre the cooked rabbit pieces and vegetables.
Sauté the rabbit’s liver and place in centre of pie.
Cover the pie with another layer of pastry and be sure to close it well.
Brush the top with egg wash, for a nice golden finish.
With a fork, press down towards the outside of the pie, to weld the pastry together.
Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F) and bake pie for 10 minutes; then reduce heat to 180°C (356°F) for 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and brush top of pie with acacia honey.
Finally—at the last minute, add the blood to the wine sauce, so that it does not boil and adjust the seasoning.
Serve the sauce alongside the pie.
A salad of dandelion or endives with garlic goes well with rabbit pie.