An Alternate Meat Source/Rabbit/Rabbit Pot Pie
Dad raises rabbits for one of our meat sources on the farm. The other day we dressed some rabbits, and we had two that were a little older and bigger so I cooked them in the slow cooker overnight. I added two onions diced and some salt, pepper and, of course, water to cover. They simmered away on the high setting overnight – the aroma was very nice! When the meat had cooled, I took it off the bone and the result was three sandwich-size bags of rabbit meat for the freezer and about four cups of meat to use. There was also good amount of broth – about 1 quart. I would note that when you cook rabbit in this fashion you need to strain the broth as rabbits do have lots of small bones.
Generally, when I cook rabbit for Dad, I fry the rabbit. We process the rabbits at about 8 weeks or about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of meat when dressed. Rabbit this size is perfect for frying. I will talk more about fried rabbit in another post.
So – here I am with this rabbit meat and what to do? We are still using our potatoes that we harvested from 2013 so I am blessed with potatoes and I had some carrots and celery in the refrigerator. When I am at the farm I try to challenge myself to do with what we have on hand in the refrigerator, canned, or grow. I did not want to make a trip to town so – I started with those ingredients plus two more onions. Did I mention we like onion?!
On top of the stove, I melted about 1 teaspoon butter in a non-stick skillet and added 3 diced carrots, 3 stalks celery diced, 2 onions diced, and 4 medium potatoes diced. I simmered the veggies and added 1 cup rabbit broth.
Separately, in a saucepan I made a roux for gravy with 1 teaspoon butter, 1/4 cup cream, 3 tablespoons corn starch and about 1/4 cup rabbit broth. I continued to add broth making a thin sauce. I simmered the sauce to the consistency I wanted – a light sauce not runny and certainly not wallpaper paste.
In a bowl (because my pan was too small), I mixed the veggies, sauce, 3 cups rabbit meat. Then I used a pie dish and assembled as follows: bottom crust, veggie, rabbit and sauce mixture, and the top crust.
I baked the pot pie on 350 degrees F for about 30 to 35 minutes. Everything is cooked so you are basically cooking the pie crust and making sure the meat and veggie mixture warms and the sauce thickens a bit.
Leftovers Note: You could – I did – make a separate rabbit gravy to serve with the pot pie on the second day. On the second day I found the pie to be a little dry and the rabbit gravy was delicious!
For those who like the ingredients listed here they are:
3 cups cooked rabbit meat
Vegetables: 4 medium potatoes, 3 stalks celery, 3 carrots, 2 onions all diced small
Sauce: 1 teaspoon butter, 1/4 cup cream, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, and approx. 1/4 to 1/2 cup broth as needed.
2 pie crusts – make your own or use a prepared one, as you like!
Enjoy and thanks for shooting the breeze!