There’s a lot to be said for a good tart or pie

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE - FOOD, DRINK and OTHER MAT­TERS with Pa­trick Skin­ner

Among the pies and pas­tries that ar­rive on our ta­ble, one of my favourites is rab­bit pie. Hav­ing en­joyed this del­i­cacy in sev­eral coun­tries, I can as­sure you that the Cyprus rab­bit is as good as any. Be­ing “tame”, it doesn’t have the gamey flavour of a wild rab­bit or hare, but the meat is plen­ti­ful and de­li­cious. Rab­bit por­tions can be served in many ways.

Start by dis­mem­ber­ing the an­i­mal, into five or six parts, ac­cord­ing to size. Your butcher will cer­tainly do this, but this can some­times be a bit hap­haz­ard re­sult­ing in lop­sided por­tions, so you may pre­fer do­ing it your­self. You want to end up with two back legs; the sad­dle, which may be cut into two pieces, or four if it is a large rab­bit; and the chest and front legs (which is not a very meaty part). You will be left with some ribs and other odd bones, which can be set aside, along with the liver (very tasty on its own), the head, kid­neys and heart, which may be cooked with a casse­role or used for stock.

Use what you want and freeze the rest. If you want a ten­der rab­bit, buy a small young one. The big ones can be tough, need­ing longer cook­ing, but make an ex­cel­lent casse­role. 11. Heat the stock un­til bub­bling. 12. Mix the corn flour and wa­ter and swirl into the hot stock to thicken. Taste for flavour and sea­son if nec­es­sary. 13. Spoon about a cup­ful of stock into the rab­bit mix­ture and sim­mer. 14. Roll out the pas­try in two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. 15. Put the larger piece of pas­try in the base of the pie dish. Trim. 16. Spoon in the rab­bit mix­ture and cover with the other piece of pas­try. 17. Brush with beaten egg, or milk, and bake in the oven for about 25 min­utes, or un­til the pas­try has risen and is golden brown.

I find this pie is al­ways en­joyed, mak­ing a change from pies made with chunks of meat. The thick­ened stock makes a good sauce. I put a spot of Muscat in it and a lit­tle more salt and pep­per and re­duce it by about a third.

What bet­ter than MASH to go with the pie and gravy? Root veg­eta­bles mashed with potato, per­haps. Or, some swede, a turnip, a car­rot or two or cele­riac – any one, or a cou­ple of these make great mash.

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