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Wild Rabbit and Leek Potato Top Pie with Parmesan

By MacLean Fraser


So you’ve still got some buyback dollars burning a hole in your pocket and have just had a read of the Rossi semi-auto .22WMR review? Go buy one or dust off the .22, get the kids off the Xbox and take them out rabbit shooting during the school holidays.


This recipe I can almost guarantee everyone in the family will like and is a great way to cook rabbit and show the kids the circle of life.


If you want to get flash, you can remove the back straps from the rabbit before braising and use them for another recipe. I’d cook them pink / medium rare as being a tender cut they don’t require a long cooking time like the rest of the rabbit to be tender.


Makes 4 portions.


Rabbit braise:

1 Rabbit

1/2 Onion

2 Cloves garlic

1 Lt Chicken stock

2 Sprigs thyme

1 Bay leaf


Pie filling:

1 Tsp Wholegrain mustard

1 Leek

2 Tbs Parsley, chopped


White pepper

Cayenne pepper

30g Butter + butter for cooking

30g Flour

3/4 Cup cream

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Potato top:

6 Small to medium sized Potato

1 Clove garlic

50g Butter

1/2 Cup cream

4 Tsp Parmesan, grated



For the rabbit: Clean the rabbit and trim away the worst of the silver skin, you don’t need to be too careful as the braising process will break down any tough connective tissue. Slice the onions and garlic and quarter the rabbit.


In a small oven dish place the rabbit, onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and the chicken stock. Add more chicken stock to mostly cover if needed. Place the lid on the dish (or some baking paper and tin foil) and bake in the oven at 150C for 2.5-3hrs or until the meat is tender and falls away from the bone.


Drain off the stock keeping the liquid to one side and warm; we will use this to make the sauce. Discard the herbs, you can keep the onion and garlic and add it to your pie mix if you like. Let the rabbit cool off enough to handle and then pull the meat off the bones making sure you don’t get any bones and you keep the meat nice and chunky.


For the pie filling: While the rabbit is cooling slice the leeks thinly and cook them in a pot over a low heat with a couple of knobs of butter until they’re soft and tender.


To make the sauce place the butter in a pot (don’t use an aluminium pot for this as the sauce will end up grey) and melt over a low to moderate heat and then using a wooden spoon stir in the butter.


Cook the butter and flour mix until the flour has gone white and sandy (not brown) and then stir in the 1 ½ cups of reserved rabbit braising liquor in ½ cup increments ensuring and make sure it’s fully mixed in each time and has come back up to the simmer.


If it’s lumpy you can use a whisk to whisk out the lumps. You can add more stock or less stock to make the sauce as thick or as thin as you like. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes to make sure the flour has been cooked out then add the leeks, the cooked rabbit and the chopped parsley and mustard to the sauce and stir through. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.


For the potato top: Peel and cut up the potato into small chunks and cook in salted water with the clove of garlic until tender. Drain (discard the water and garlic) and then return the potato to the pot and cook out over a low heat for 1 or 2 minutes until they’re fluffy to dry them out.


Mash the potatoes and then add the (ideally warm) cream and butter and stir through. Season with salt and pepper to taste

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Spoon the rabbit mix into one large pie dish or four individual small pie dishes. I have piped the potato mix on top however you can just spoon the potato mix on top and then spread it out with a fork.


Sprinkle the grated parmesan on top and bake at 190C in the oven for 15-20 mins until piping hot in the middle and golden brown on top. Enjoy with a nice light crisp beer such as a Pilsner or Kolsch.


About MacLean

“I am a professional chef and amateur hunter. I have spent time hunting in most of the North Island ranges but do most of my hunting in the Tararua’s.


Working as a chef has sent me to several locations in the world and I have worked in New Zealand, Malaysia, Cook Islands and the Maldives.


I first started out hunting rabbits and possums with my old man when I was a kid before moving on to goats and deer as I grew older. As a chef I like to use the best produce available. Hunters when killing humanely and taking only what they need can end up cooking with not only the most ethically harvested meat but when dealt with properly, the best quality also.


I think it’s really important to know where your food comes from and how best not to waste it, and that’s why I think hunting and cooking marry so well together and that’s what I hope to promote and achieve through sharing the recipes and techniques we use to cook wild game professionally.”




MacLean Fraser,

Executive Chef,

Artisan Dining House,

Bolton Hotel,



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