I haven't posted about food and cooking in a while. Actually, the pictures in this post date back to April 22-24. I had made rillettes de lapin a few days before, and some of the meat was still in the freezer. Since rillettes are nice shredded meat, well seasoned, I thought I could make the rabbit equivalent of a shepherd's pie — called un hachis parmentier in French — with some of them.
Here's what you do — this is not so much a recipe as an idea or method. To start, sautee some vegetables — sliced onions, julienned carrots, and sliced fresh mushrooms — with pepper, dried thyme, and bay leaves as seasonings.
When the vegetables have begun to cook, add in the shredded rabbit and let it cook for a few more minutes. The rabbit is already cooked, and the vegetables will finish cooking in the oven with mashed potatoes, so the mixture doesn't need to cook for long on top of the stove.
Boil some potatoes and mash them with butter and cream or milk. Make a stiff mash that will hold its shape, and season it with pepper, a little salt (depending on the saltiness of the rabbit and vegetable mixture), and a pinch of grated nutmeg.
Put the rabbit and vegetable mixture, or part of it, into the bottom of a baking dish or terrine. Spoon mashed potatoes over the top and then spread them over the whole surface. You can use as thin or as thick a layer of potatoes as you want — same with the rabbit and vegetable hash.
If all the ingredients are still hot, put the terrine or terrines in a hot oven and cook them until the potato is nice and browned. If the potatoes and hash have cooled down, put them in a medium oven so that everything will have time to heat through again before the top gets too brown.
At this point, you can spoon the pie onto plates and eat it hot. Don't burn your mouth!
If you let the potato pie cool completely in the fridge, you can cut thick slices of it, re-heat them in the oven, and serve the rabbit and potato pie as you see it in the first and last pictures above. It looks fancier but tastes the same.
And of course you can make the same kind of pie using shredded cooked beef, pork, turkey, duck, or chicken. Corned beef would be good. Or smoked chicken.