Hare in a Rich and Shiny Sauce

Hare has a wonderfully full flavour which we taste all too rarely. I first made this delicious dish for New Year’s Eve. It is perfect to sustain you for the long night ahead. You can cook hare well beforehand and finish the sauce in a few minutes before you eat.

I cook red cabbage in a casserole to go with this and then stir some briefly steamed broccoli into it at the last moment. Brown rice goes well with the sauce.

Ingredients

  • ½ pint (300 ml) + 2 tablespoons (2 x 15 ml spoons) hot water
  • 1 oz (25 g) dried mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons (2 x 15 ml spoons) sunflower oil
  • 10 good-sized joints of hare
  • 2 large onions
  • 8 oz (250 g) carrots
  • coarsely grated rind and juice of 1 orange
  • 3 teaspoons (3 x 5 ml spoons) dried green peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons (2 x 5 ml spoons) ground mace
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml spoon) thick honey
  • 6 fl oz (175 ml) red wine
  • 2 tablespoons (2 x 15 ml spoons) arrowroot
  • chopped parsley
  • salt

Method

Pour ½ pint (300 ml) very hot water over the dried mushrooms in a bowls and leave them to soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying-pan over a high heat. Add as many joints of hare as will fit in the pan and just brown them on each side. Transfer the joints to a large, heavy saucepan, and then repeat with the remaining joints. Peel the onion, chop them roughly and put them in a food processor with the carrots, also roughly chopped. Whizz until they have turned to a mush. Turn into a bowl and stir in the orange rind and juice, the mushrooms and their soaking water, the green peppercorns, the mace, the chopped garlic, the honey and the wine. Season with salt and pour the mixture over the joints in the saucepan. Cover the pan, bring it to the boil and then leave it to simmer gently for 1½-1¾ hours until the hare is very tender. Remove from the heat.

Before serving re-heat in the saucepan and then remove the joints with a slotted spatula and arrange in a large serving dish. Add the wine vinegar to the saucepan juices and check for seasoning. Mix the arrowroot in a cup with the 2 tablespoons water until smooth. Stir the mixture into the saucepan juices and put over the heat. Bring to the boil stirring, and simmer, still stirring, for 3 minutes. Then pour over the hare joints and scatter with chopped parsley.

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