It’s Week #4 Of My “52 In 22” Cooking Challenge!
For those laying along, this is the stack of the first ten cookbooks I am cooking from, all part of my “52 In 22” challenge…time to dive into a book that suggests desserts, but is anything but!
Time To Enter “The Pie Room!”
Chef Callum Franklin is an acclaimed British Chef who specializes in pies: the “meat” kind!
His cookbook “The Pie Room” is packed with inventive, delicious recipes, including one that caught my eye because of the title:
“Rabbit, Pancetta & Mustard Pie!”
Well, that sounds like a delicious slice of pie – so much so that I chose it as the recipe to make from Chef’s book!
Here is Chef Franklin’s Rabbit Pie as shown in the cookbook:
My “Rabbit” Dilemma!
Now, the first twist: I simply couldn’t find any Rabbit on the day I planned to cook this dish: so I substituted Duck and Chicken Thigh in equal measure to be my protein…so let’s get cooking!
Here are most of the ingredients needed for the dish: I will share other supporting cast members when we get to them.
Get started by putting the duck and chicken thighs in 2 liters of water on the stove – approximately 8 cups of water – important because this water is used throughout the process!
Bring the meat to a simmer, then let it cook for 90 minutes.
Next, time to tackle the pie dough. Chef Callum allowed for Puff Pastry sheets to be used – they are in your frozen freezer section, and after letting them thaw for about 45 minutes, I rolled them out – focusing on the pie top first:
There are two parts to this: first, roll your dough to 5mm thick, shape into a circle large enough to cover your round spring pan, then put it in the refrigerator….do the same thickness for dough large enough to fit in the pan itself, liberally grease the pan with butter and then do this:
I was afraid it wouldn’t hold as I lifted it, but no problem at all! I pressed it into place and refrigerated that as well.
With that step done, it was time to tackle the filling:
I removed the Duck and Chicken Thighs from the water…those went into a container as I cut up a head of cabbage – Chef called for a “Hispi” cabbage which is smaller but unavailable so I used half a head of green cabbage and dropped it in the same water:
You cook it for just a minute, then strain the liquid into another pot, and add about 4 ounces of a dry white wine…I used a Sauvignon Blanc…
Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the volume by two-thirds…while that is bubbling away, the cabbage is set aside and it’s time to cook the pancetta and onion:
Chef has these two cooked together for 6 minutes in two tablespoons of olive oil and 4 tablespoons butter…while they cook, you can take the meat off the Duck bones and shred the meat along with the chicken breast.
Have them standing by and ready to go.
After 6 minutes, add 4 tablespoons of white flour to the pancetta and onion and mix it in over low heat for 5 minutes….then add half of your reduced stock and slowly stir it, creating a lovely roux…add the rest of the stock and continue to store for another 5 minutes.
At this point, bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to reduce a bit – about two minutes total, stirring constantly. Then add 4 sprigs of thyme, and a tablespoon of whole grain mustard and a tablespoon of dijon as well….
Add the duck and chicken meat and the cabbage back in, mix it all together, and there’s your pie filling!
The next step was captured by my wife:
Chef calls for the mixture to be spread out on a tray to cool it down while the pie is constructed, beginning when you take your spring pan out of the refrigerator and put the cooled filling in:
I spread the filling around evenly, then grabbed the previously-made pie crust and placed it gently on top:
After I trimmed a bit of the overhang, Chef Callum instructs to use egg wash on the rim and the top – one egg whisked will do – crimping the dough to ensure it holds tight – then use the rest of your egg wash to paint over the entire top of the pie:
By the way, this is when you can make any designs with the leftover dough and put on top as well, which I did – I attempted crude little Ducks…Chef says to now refrigerate the pie for twenty minutes and warm up your oven to 210 degrees Celsius, or just over 400 degree Fahrenheit…once warm, put the sspringpan in the over and bake for 45 minutes, or until a golden crust emerges like this:
Behold Chef Callum Franklin’s Rabbit Pancetta & Mustard Pie – With Duck!
I was very happy with how the pie cooked – as you can see, there were a few spots where some excess dough escaped my attention, and it puffed a bit during cooking – but other than that, I was very happy!
There were two more critical steps…first, you have to take the baked pie out of the spring pan, which led to this:
Wait until you see how we jerry-rigged a way to release the spring pan – again all due to Alex’s sharp thinking and my ability to follow her instructions:
So it worked!
I think we work so well as a team!
Now, the last part – cutting into it! What’s inside? Did the interior of the pie stay firm enough, or will it pour out like lava from a volcano? Here goes:
As you can see, the filling set nicely – it was creamy, but the cabbage, duck, chicken and pancetta helped it keep its shape – and as for the taste?
Somewhat of an easy call: if you were intrigued by the concept of this pie, and you like the flavors used to make this pie, then you will LOVE the taste of this pie!
The Duck and Pancetta were obviously in there, their savory richness easy to define – and the hint of mustard was just enough to satisfy without overpowering anything…the the cabbage had just a bit of tartness to it, which helped the overall flavors pop!
Thank you to Chef Callum Franklin, whose recipe was easy to follow!
This wasn’t the first time I’ve cooked from Chef Franklin’s incredible cookbook:
I made a traditional “British Pork Pie”, and when I posted the result on Instagram, Chef Callum himself complimented me!
Here’s the recipe to make it yourself at home:
This was week 4 in my “52 In 22” cooking challenge…last week, I leaned on a friend, Chef / Food Michael Ruhlman to make “Crispy Mollet Egg!”
His “Egg” cookbook is a love letter to the many ways to enjoy an egg – even when this recipe almost cracked me!
Click here to see why:
I have also cooked a traditional Italian “Sunday Gravy”, with an interesting assist from Actor / Cookbook Author / Food Travel Host Stanley Tucci:
I learned a fascinating bit of information about how you are supposed to serve this dish, and you can see how I did by clicking on my story here:
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Let me know what you think of my “52 In 22” challenge!
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