Beer-braised bunny sausage rolls

By Chris Badenoch
This recipe makes 20 sausage rolls and is well accompanied with Bière de Garde, a dark Belgian Trappist ale, a Belgian blonde or English ale.

olive oil - for cooking

1 rabbit, about 1.2kg - segmented

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 leeks, white part only - thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic - sliced

1 fresh bay leaf

4 sprigs thyme

a 330ml bottle Belgian blonde beer

handful chopped flat-leaf parsley

puff pastry

1 free-range egg yolk - beaten


1 Preheat the oven to 180C.

2 Heat a flameproof heavy-based casserole dish over medium heat and pour in a good amount of olive oil.

3 Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper, then add them to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until browned all over, working in batches if necessary. Remove these from the pan and set aside.

4 Sauté the leek and garlic for 5 minutes or until softened and slightly browned, then add the herbs and return the rabbit to the pan. Deglaze the pan with beer then bring to the boil.

5 Add the beer, cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours or until the rabbit is very tender and falling off the bone. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the liquid.

6 Remove the rabbit pieces from the braising liquid and discard the herbs. Return the pan to the stove and simmer over a medium heat for 20 minutes or until the mixture is reduced by two-thirds and appears oily.

7 Strip all of the meat from the bones, being very careful to remove all bones (rabbit bones are very delicate and can break easily). Return the meat to the braising liquid and leave to cool. Stir through the chopped parsley.

8 Roll out the pastry to an oblong 30x40cm. Cut in half lengthways.

9 Take half of the filling and, using floured hands, roll it into a long sausage shape and place along the long edge of one piece of pastry. Brush the edges with a little water and fold over, pressing down to seal. Place the sealed edge underneath. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.

10 Using a sharp knife, cut the sausage rolls into 3cm lengths, discarding the end pieces. Brush these with egg yolk and using scissors, snip little ‘V’s in the top of the sausage roll.

11 Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

12 Serve with pea purée, fried leek and grilled rabbit kidneys.