'I promise it is easily achievable at home', writes Michel Roux Jr in his latest column for Decanter.com. See this tasty recipe, with extra wine matches from sommelier Paz Levinson.

Rabbit Pâté en Croute

Serves 4-6

  • 250g shortcrust pastry
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1kg of spinach
  • 125g of rabbit meat
  • 125g terrine of foie gras
  • 125g rabbit liver (or chicken liver)
  • 125g unsmoked bacon
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 4 tbsp Cognac
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Slice the shallot and cook on a medium heat with a tablespoon of butter. When softened, add the livers to the pan and switch to full heat to obtain a brown caramelized colour. Season the livers with salt and pepper add the sprig of thyme to the pan and deglaze with the cognac. Once the alcohol has evaporated put in the fridge to cool down.
  2. Cut the terrine of foie gras into small dices and leave to one side.
  3. Mince the rabbit meat, the livers (it must be cold), the unsmoked bacon and juniper berries. Thoroughly mix these ingredients together before seasoning then add the cubes of foie gras.
  4. Wash the spinach and sauté in a frying pan with a tablespoon of butter and a crushed garlic clove.
  5. Cook the spinach and allow to cool. When cool, press the spinach in the palm of your hands to extract all the water. Make the spinach into small round balls.
  6. Line the tin with shortcrust pastry and layer the minced meat and spinach until you reach the top of the tin. With the remaining shortcrust pastry roll out a thin circle to the diameter of your tin to create a lid. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes at 180°C.
  7. For a professional finish you can reduce some chicken stock and add to the pâté by making a small hole in the center of the lid. Pour the liquid inside once the pâté is cooked and has been chilled overnight. This will add a beautiful, meaty jelly between the meat and the shortcrust pastry .

Don’t be scared by the complicated French name of this recipe. I promise it is easily achievable at home. This is a French classic that both of my grandmothers used to prepare for the whole family. Very versatile, you can use all sorts of different combinations of meats and vegetables.

A Beaujolais-Village is always a winner with French charcuterie. Light and fruity, served lightly chilled works wonders with this full bodied dish.

For a special occasion a southern Rhône blend such as the Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril et Fils 2013 brings this French bistro classic to another level.

Wines to drink with Rabbit Pâté en Croute by Michel Roux Jr.

Beaujolais-Village, Louis Jadot, 2013 – A beautifully balanced red wine with a real complexity of flavour. Oozing with dark fruits such as cherry, with a balance of spiciness from grey pepper and liquorice. The acidity of this wine makes it perfect to drink with the richness of the rabbit.
RRP: £9.99 Waitrose Cellar

Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril et Fils 2013 Such a classic red, the perfect accompaniment to a luxurious dish. The gorgeous savouriness of the dish works beautifully with the sweet apricot and melon notes of the wine. Fruity, spicy and nutty, Clos des Papes is a perfect partner to the rabbit pâté en croute.
RRP: £57 from Berry Bros and Rudd