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Prep Time: 2½ Hours
Yields: 6 Servings

Salmis is traditionally a stew made from leftover game birds, but this creative entrée is made with rabbit. The stew is placed in a pie shell and baked in the same fashion as Natchitoches Meat Pies. These pies may be made with any combination of wild or domestic game.

Ingredients for Stock:
2 large wild rabbits
2 large onions, quartered
2 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 head garlic, split
1 tbsp peppercorns
1 bay leaf
salt to taste

Method for Stock:
Cut each rabbit into 8 pieces. In a large stockpot, place meat, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf and salt. Cover ingredients by 2–3 inches with cold water. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce to simmer. Cook until rabbit is tender and falling from bones. It is important to skim impurities from surface of stock during cooking process. Once rabbit is tender, remove from stock and allow to cool. Strain 1 quart of rabbit stock and set aside. When rabbit cools, bone meat and discard bones.

Ingredients for Salmis:
¼ pound butter
¼ cup flour
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
½ cup diced red bell peppers
¼ cup minced garlic
1 quart reserved rabbit stock (see above)
1 ounce Burgundy wine
1 tbsp chopped thyme
1 tsp chopped basil
½ tsp rubbed sage
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
¾ cup sliced green onions
½ cup chopped parsley
2 (9-inch) prepared pie crusts

Method for Salmis:
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly to form a light brown roux. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Slowly add stock until stew-like consistency is achieved. Blend in wine, thyme, basil and sage. Season with salt and pepper. Break rabbit into small pieces and place in simmering sauce. Cook 1 hour, adding stock if necessary. Majority of sauce should be absorbed by rabbit toward end of cooking process. Add green onions and parsley then adjust seasonings if necessary. Pour contents onto a large baking pan and allow to cool to room temperature. Press 1 pie shell into bottom of a pie pan. Spoon cooled rabbit into pie. Cover with second pie crust. Crimp edges of crust together and cut away excess. Using a paring knife, pierce pie 3–4 times to allow steam to escape. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly prior to serving.

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