Jenny's Hare Pie from Voyager in the Outlander series

Jenny's Hare Pie from Voyager

"If ye've brought meat, we'll have it.  If not, it's brose and hough."

He made a face at this; the thought of boiled barley and shin-beef, the last remnants of the salted beef carcass they'd bought two months before, was unappealing.

"Just as well I had luck, then," he said.  He upended his game bag and let the three rabbits fall onto the table in a limp tumble of gray fur and crumpled ears.  "And blackthorn berries," he added, tipping out the contents of the dun bonnet, now stained inside with the rich red juice.

Jenny's eyes brightened at the sight.  "Hare pie," she declared.  "There's no currants, but the berries will do even better, and there's enough butter, thank God."  Catching a tiny blink of movement among the gray fur, she slapped her hand down on the table, neatly obliterating the minuscule intruder.

"Take them out and skin 'em, Jamie, or the kitchen will be hopping wi' fleas."

Diana Gabaldon, Voyager (Chapter 5)

Don't you just love Jamie and Jenny together?  Especially when it's just the 2 of them.

Classic, ball-grabbing, times.

But not today -- today, they're all about the hare pie -- which means so am I.

Hare Pie Mallet

The first thing I did was went out and got me a rabbit. Some of you may be able to hunt your own, but I had to go to a specialty butcher for this fella here -- and there was never a hope I was going to find a hare.  Congratulations if you can!  I'm a little jealous.

I went to one of my favourite hunters/foragers for help butchering Bugs up into 10 pieces, or collops, as Jenny later directs Jamie to do.

Then, still following Jenny's directions, I took the massive wooden mallet that I found on the tool bench downstairs to whack the crap out of flatten the bones.  A normal meat tenderizer will also do the job, but I'm nothing if not committed to authenticity where practical.

For some of you, pounding bones with all your might not be practical.  Particularly if you live on the top floor.  Personally, my husband is used to loud banging noises coming from the kitchen -- he barely even looks up anymore.  But if your housemates aren't as well prepared, you can skip the pounding step.  Just note that the rabbit pieces won't sit as well in the pan while you're browning them and you won't have the benefit of working out the day's aggressions.

It's up to you, but I recommend the mallet.

Hare Pie

The blackthorn berries that Jamie dumped out of his dunbonnet are commonly known as sloe berries today.  I've never seen them outside of the UK, and only then in gin. :)

Blackberries or blueberries match well with rabbit and are a great alternative in Jenny's recipe.  The blackberries in my pie spent the winter in the freezer, just waiting for their perfect place.  If you don't have any berries, use a bit of jam instead.  Just dollop small spoonfuls in amongst the meat and veggies.

Hare Pie

Aside from the currants she replaces with berries, the other ingredient Jenny is missing for the recipe, as written in Mrs. McLintock's Recipes for Cookery and Pastry-Work, is claret.  Originally, a claret was a pale, light-tasting wine -- close to what we now call a rosé.  But over time, the term claret has changed to refer to a dry, dark red Bordeaux.

Jenny didn't want to break open the last cask of claret and we don't actually know what she decided to use in the end (other things came up).  My Outlander Kitchen has a few more resources than Jenny's post-uprising one, so I went all out and picked up a bottle of French rosé for my pie.  It made for a wonderful "gravy" and the remainder was verra nice, chilled, with a slice of hare pie on the side.

Hare Pie

I made a classic short crust recipe and added some chopped thyme for a little extra flavour.  Fresh herbs are easy to grow and are a colourful way to add extra flavour to dishes.  If you're trying to cut down on salt, consider adding herbs to your culinary repertoire in its place.

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Comments

27 Feb 2012 - 11:54am

outlanderfan


I just can't bring myself to cook a bunny but good on ya for recreating Jenny's recipe, lol. And I do appreciate the short crust recipe, thanks!

27 Feb 2012 - 1:21pm

Connie Barlow


Tonight house special Hare pie, with a side of Briannas cold oil frys'' Ill be sure not to skip the tenderising process, utmost importance'' Good solid food! Bonnie lass!

27 Feb 2012 - 1:42pm

ruaTimeTraveler2


Wow what a flash back for me...You just don't see this kind of recipes anymore!nI always so impressed with your talents!!....Outlander Kitchen...you rock...

27 Feb 2012 - 1:49pm

Michelle Benne…


Bunny pie...nope, can't do it! Mom made rabbit ONCE when we were kids and didn't tell us what it was until after we'd eaten. We all muntinied to cries of "Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny!" and she never tried that again. :) nnI might try it with chicken though!

27 Feb 2012 - 3:22pm

Ms. Aaron Brown


It looks tasty! I don't know if there is a place to purchase rabbit around here, but I will check.

Theresa


It's really delicious, Aaron...it's worth hunting a rabbit down (hehehe).

27 Feb 2012 - 3:58pm

evi


looks delish. quick question - one of your paragraphs in the recipe says "remove the chicken"....there's no chicken in this, is there???? nnlove ya, murph!

Theresa


Thanks, Evi! I was up late typing that recipe -- kept calling it chicken! Thought I had found them all...LOL

27 Feb 2012 - 4:03pm

The Mom Chef …


What an amazing looking pie. If I could find someone to catch the rabbit, skin it and cut it up so it's not recognizable, I'd make this. :)nnCurious though, and I wondered this while reading the book; you pound the bones to flatten them...does that mean that you eat them? You're not picking shards out of your dinner? Are they really that tiny?

Theresa


Christiane, once the head is gone, it doesn't look so much like a rabbit. A little gruesome, but true. In my recipe for hare pie, you braise the rabbit, then pick the meat off the bones and add it to the pie -- much like how you make a chicken pot pie. I don't know if Jenny left the bones in her pie, but those little splinters wouldn't make for good 21st C eating...

27 Feb 2012 - 5:04pm

Kate


That sounds AMAZING!!! And I love the wee bunnies you put on!!! :)

27 Feb 2012 - 6:10pm

Tea & Sympathy


This is the best pie recipe I've seen all day, and I've seen loads! I love the hare decoration! I think you might like our recipe for a very tasty and very British steak pie! http://teaandsympathynewyork.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/steak-guinness-pie-something-for-the-lent-weekend/ nEnjoy.x

27 Feb 2012 - 6:44pm

The Suzzzz


I live in Northern Utah and there are a lot of small family farms around here that raise rabbits for their table. They are hard to find in the store but if you go to the farmer's market or the road side stands you can find someone who will butcher one for you. All those looking for it, try asking around any farms in your area. This one is our favorite http://appenzellfarm.com/apzl/Welcome.html Unfortunately they don't ship. My husband (former Marine who LOVES to hunt) has brought home wild hare from time to time. He skins and cleans it but I have to joint it myself. It is tougher and gamey, I prefer farm raised rabbit. I'm going to have to try this some time.

Theresa


Thanks for the rabbit tips! I am sorry to say that I have never tasted wild hare/rabbit. Would love to try it! But in the meantime, farm raised rabbit is pretty tasty!

28 Feb 2012 - 3:38am

Charlene


I have a pet rabbit, so I can't bring myself to eat them anymore!

Theresa


For those of you who feel the same as Charlene, you could always chicken (or partridge) instead...:)

28 Feb 2012 - 3:39am

Denise Twist


Growing up on a ranch in Wyoming we killed our share of rabbits and had many a tasty stew. I will now be on a mission to find farm raised rabbits in here Oregon as I have never seen one hermetically sealed in my grocery store! Loved the "classic, ball grabbing times" line. That scene never fails to shock me (I could NOT imagine doing this to my brother) while simultaneously making me chuckle. That scene is a picture perfect slice of their relationship. Great recipe; the finished pie looks gorgeous!

Theresa


Thanks Denise! You're so right about the hermetically sealed rabbit -- that's exactly what the one I found was. If there are any Mediterranean markets in your area, I would ask the owners and customers there for a local source -- Italians and Portugese love rabbit -- just to name two. :)

28 Feb 2012 - 9:45pm

Lee Ann


"Classic, ball-grabbing, times." I laughed out loud... :D

29 Feb 2012 - 1:02am

deniz


Aww, I love this scene. And I've always wanted to try hare pie!

Theresa


it's really delicious, Deniz...we ate it 3 nights in a row with no complaints! :)

29 Feb 2012 - 5:42pm

Kiri W.


What an interesting combination of berries and hare! I do like hare, and the pie looks fantastic and very hearty :)

Theresa


Hearty and fantastic are 2 words I would use to describe it, Kiri! Thanks. :) Theresa

29 Feb 2012 - 11:13pm

bullrem


How dedicated you are to authenticity. I would not have been surprised if you had told me you got a musket loaded and shot the thing. Hee heenHelen in Ark.

Theresa


I have killed a few of my own dinners, Helen! But not a rabbit yet...:/

22 Dec 2012 - 7:49am

druidofdusk


I am unable to purchase alcohol (at the moment) and was wondering what would be the best alternative for this recipe?

03 Jan 2013 - 6:37pm

Kelly


My family and I raise rabbits for our table. We have made sausage, as well as using it in place of chicken for just about any recipe. I have not made a pie! Why have I not made a pie??? I guess that will be next for us! I have 4 children and they love the nights we have rabbit. 1 nine inch pie is never enough, so I will double everything and do it in a 9x13 deep dish. Thank you so much for so many great ideas for different ways to feed the family! And I get a little bit of 'Outlander' for myself along the way. My daughter is only 12, but when she is older I will introduce her to Ms. Gabaldons wonderful works! Thank you again, from California!! ~Kelly~

Theresa


Kelly, how wonderful! I wish rabbit was the cheap affordable protein it should be around here...that rabbit cost me $25 or $30...which is why it's a 9" pie. Don't tell anyone, but I actually saved the loin and liver for a batch of ravioli! Had to get my money's worth. LOL

Kelly


Mmm raviolis sound yummy! I would love that recipe as well if you don't mind sharing when you decide to make it?

24 Jan 2013 - 7:55am

Tabby


Just had to tell you that I made this back in October and loved it, then found one lonely leftover piece hiding in the back of my freezer a few weeks ago. It reheated like a dream, and was just as good the second time around.

Theresa


I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Tabby! Found food is almost as good as found money, don't you agree?

08 Aug 2014 - 9:35pm

Theresa


Great choice, Christine...one of my favourite recipes!

10 Apr 2015 - 4:46pm

Lucia Clark


I love rabbit, and I can find it easily enough in a couple of stores here in the North East. I usually cook it in whine and serve it over pappardelle, a very wide type of noodles, and then I bring the whole thing to a friend's house for a yummy and nostalgic lunch. But the idea of the bunny pie is so tempting. The problem is, honesty compels me to tell the truth, and I know that my family will run out of the kitchen. So that's my friend's house again

08 Aug 2014 - 7:25pm

Christine Bachtel


Well I've been planning on this for months! I think tomorrow will be a perfect day for this pie!! Unfortunately EVERY SINGLE friend of mine who has read the books is out of town this weekend... So just my husband and I will be enjoying Hare Pie tomorrow night for the premier!

31 Aug 2014 - 6:54pm

Leigh Ann


I can hear my dad chop watering from here. He loves nothing better than a good rabbit recipe. Lately hes been taking my son out to snare some, now I know what to do with them other than stew :)

01 Sep 2014 - 3:02am

Thoracias


Looking forward to trying this. We've only had rabbit once in a stew because my teenagers (at the time) wanted to try it (they weren't impressed and said it tasted like chicken - for real). We have an International Market nearby where we can get anything from rabbit to goat and rabbits are relatively cheap (last one was $5.oo). Not sure how I feel about the berries as I have never been fond of meat and fruit recipes (pork and apples? gross! lol) but I love trying new things and this looks like good Outlander fun for one of our themed show nights.

05 Sep 2014 - 2:04am

Stefanie


I missed what to do with the crispy bacon bits after rendering them. Do they go back in the filling? Thanks!

Theresa


Oops! Sorry about that...yes, they go back into the filling, or you can sprinkle them on the bottom crust before you fill the pie.

01 Nov 2014 - 4:14am

Jody Lamond


This is now our favorite dinner. I am even going to make one for a pot luck in Dec. I call it "Bunny-Pot-pie"! $25 for a rabbit??? Holy smokes! I raise my own and sell them skinned & cleaned but not quartered to friends for $10! Just had bunny & dumplings tonight. I have a hard time finding affordable rose' wine though so use blush zinfendel. Oh, and the little arms make great hot wings!

Theresa


I'm still looking to make friends with a rabbit farmer! I live in eternal hope. ;)

26 Dec 2014 - 4:04am

Christine G


Made this for Christmas dinner! We used a home-raised rabbit, and although he was old and tough as boot leather, this pie turned out very tasty! I was super excited to make an OK recipe, and I look forward to adding this to the kitchen arsenal in the future :)

27 Dec 2014 - 8:16am

Meg


Yum. Honestly, fresh berries in a savory pie don't appeal to me but dried do. Them again fresh rabbit in a pie don't appeal to many and I raise them for food so let me know when you are in need! I'm only down the road in Gilbert.

15 Jan 2015 - 5:02pm

monicv6


I'm trying it this week-end. I can find rabbit in my grocery store, but I would love to know a hunter that could get me a hare. I'm near Montreal, Quebec. This site is really great. Thanks

16 Jan 2015 - 12:06am

Kathryn Creux


I know many of you are going to disapprove, but my husband's family traditionally serves rabbit on Easter Sunday (I know, it's the Easter Bunny -- took me a long time to get over it too). I think I'll make this for our dinner this year. Thanks, Theresa! I've loved everything I've made from your site!

Theresa


You won't hear any disapproval from me! Rabbit is one of the healthiest, most sustainable animal proteins on the planet, and it tastes way better than chicken. :)

16 Jan 2015 - 12:21am

Alice Watkins


I have only had fried rabbit before. Very yummy but the shot is a hazard to the teeth. I can find it frozen at my local grocery but haven't gotten any. Will have to pick some up and try this pie.

16 Jan 2015 - 5:19pm

Jody Lamond


Has no one else read Watership Down??? Most rabbits are not the cute cuddly things people think they are. They can (and do) bite,scratch and kick. They can gut a small cat or dog if they get in a scuffle and make a mess of your arms, hands or face. Just sayin! Also they are so much faster & easier to process than chickens, less stink and mess.

19 Dec 2015 - 1:04am

Pete Jepson


Any Aussies out there? We don't think of these little feral rodents as sweet, cuddly, Watership Down inhabitants. They have just about taken over our limited productive rural areas, turning grassy paddocks and healthy grazing areas into pock marked, shell holed waste land If not for myxomatosis and colicivirus we'd all have to return "home" and leave these multiple millions of sweet, cuddly vermin to complete the job of turning the whole continent into a desert.They're bloody good to eat though.After shooting two to three hundred bunnies in a good week, you can feed half the street for a week. They helped see the country through the Depression though...often the only meat available for the battlers. The cry of "Rabbitoh" in the hard yakka days would bring the housewives out into the street to buy rabbits from the chap who went out to the urban edges, trapped & gutted bunnies which assisted a good many people in keeping this side of the grass.Australia has more rabbit recipes than the rest of the world in toto.Check them out - there are some rippers.

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