Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Roasted Rabbit, Bacon & Kumara Pie with Jane Shaw of Provisions Café

From running a ski lodge in Australia to appearing on celebrated chef Al Brown’s Hunger for the Wild television series to starting an award-winning artisan preserves company and operating her own cafés Jane Shaw’s life has always revolved around food.

Her popular Arrowtown café Provisions is a warm and inviting winter refuge to enjoy good food , coffee or a glass of local Pinot by the indoor fire.

“We have hearty seasonal fare on the winter menu and our team has developed a range of delicious affordable take home gourmet meals to cater for people with busy lifestyles.”

“These are made with fresh quality ingredients, with vegan and vegetarian choices, and are an easy pick-up on the way home from work or the mountain.”

Provisions is set in an idyllic cottage environment and open daily 8.00am until 4.00pm to enjoy brunch, coffee, home baked treats or lunch with friends and family.

Roasted Rabbit, Bacon & Kumara Pie

I spy lots of cute bunnies hopping around my garden but these delightful Beatrix Potter creatures really are a plague. So I issue a challenge to people to try and eat rabbit once a week which, as well as being a delicious dish, would hugely help reduce their numbers and support local game suppliers. 

Rabbit meat is plentiful, sustainable, tasty, lean and affordable. And of course if you can shoot your own then it’s free. 

This lean meat lends itself to a well flavoured bacon and winter vegetable pie. I bake our pies using store bought puff pastry but sometimes make rich sour cream pastry or hot water pastry.  They are delicious served with roasted carrots, mushy peas and creamy mashed potato particularly if your tribe needs filling up.


Place a half boned whole rabbit – approx. 900-1kg in weight (( I source mine from local game supplier Fare Game) into a roasting pan.

Add one peeled, chopped onion and one carrot, a sliced celery stick, two bay leaves, a handful of fresh thyme and zest of a lemon with a couple of tbsps of olive oil and lots of ground pepper.  

Roast for approx. 40 mins then add 2 litres of chicken stock (or water) and cover tightly with foil. Cook for a further 1-1/2 hours until the rabbit meat is almost falling off the bone.

Once cool, very carefully remove the rabbit meat from the bones ( there will be lots of tiny bones) and set the meat aside. Then remove all the bones, bay leaves and thyme from the remaining stock and set that aside.

In a pan add one tbsp of olive oil and sauté 250g bacon bits, 2 peeled, diced kumara, a washed sliced leek and 150g sliced mushrooms. Cook until soft. Remove the vegetables from pan and set aside. Deglaze the pan with ½ cup of any white cider and add the glaze to the vegetables.

Wipe pan out and melt 75g butter then add 75g flour to make a roux sauce and cook through for couple of minutes.  Slowly add strained stock to the roux along with 100ml cream, 2 tbsps whole grain mustard, juice of one lemon. Taste and season with salt and pepper and cook until thick.  

Remove the roux sauce from the heat and fold in 2 tbsps chopped parsley, ½ cup sliced almonds (for crunch).

Add the previously set aside deboned rabbit meat, vegetables and stock.

Leave to cool. Be careful not to overmix ( the rabbit meat is quite delicate). This makes approx. 2.4kg  of pie filling which equates to plenty of servings.

Make individual pies by lining pie tins with puff pastry bases then filling with approx. 180-200g of rabbit pie mix. Pop on a puff pastry lid, brush with beaten egg and scatter tops with flaked almonds and bake in 180c oven for 30 mins.