Rabbit and Crawfish Stargazy Pie
In this whimsically constructed pie from restaurateur and cookbook author Mark Hix, rabbit and sweet crawfish form a thick, creamy, cider-rich sauce under a biscuitlike beef suet crust.
Yield: serves 4-6
For the Pastry
- 3 oz. beef suet (from your butcher), chilled and coarsely grated
- 1 1⁄2 cups self-rising flour, plus more for dusting
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, frozen and coarsely grated
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 eggs, 1 whole, 1 lightly beaten
- 1⁄3 cup ice-cold water
For the Filling
- 1⁄4 cup canola oil
- 2 (2 1/2-lb.) rabbits, cut into 8 pieces each
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 3⁄4 cup flour
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1⁄3 cup dry hard apple cider
- 12 oz. fresh or frozen crawfish meat, plus 7 whole head-on crawfish
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. minced parsley
- Make the pastry: Pulse suet, flour, butter, salt, and whole egg in a food processor into pea-sized crumbles. Add water; pulse until pastry forms. Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap; chill until ready to use.
- Make the filling: Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over high. Season rabbit with salt and pepper; working in batches, cook until browned, 12–15 minutes, and transfer to a bowl. Add remaining oil, the butter, and onion to pan; cook until onion is soft, 4–6 minutes. Sprinkle in flour; cook 2 minutes. Whisk in stock and cider; boil. Reduce heat to medium and return rabbit to pan; cook, slightly covered, until tender, about 1 hour. Transfer rabbit to a bowl, and let cool; shred meat, discarding bones. Stir rabbit, the crawfish meat, cream, parsley, salt, and pepper into sauce.
- Assemble and bake the pie: Heat oven to 400°. Pour filling into a 9" pie plate. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into an 11" circle, about 1⁄6" thick. Brush the edges of pie plate with remaining beaten egg and lay pastry over top; crimp edges to seal. Cut seven 1" holes in the pastry about 1″ from the edges; insert whole crawfish, tails first, leaving heads and claws poking out. Brush top of pastry with egg; bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.