The Royal Recipe for Hare

This recipe is best of all for wild boar, but it is also excellent for hare or venison. It comes from the collection of Norman Douglas. The original recipe has 2 oz. (60 g.) pine nuts rather than almonds, but either are very good.


  • 1 saddle of hare


Turn the saddle of hare in the marinade several times and spoon the vegetables and liquids over it.

Melt in a large saucepan or Dutch oven 2 oz. (60 g.) butter. Remove the hare and the vegetables from the marinade and brown all slightly in the butter. When brown, set on a low heat and gradually spoon all the marinade liquor over the hare and vegetables, a little every few minutes, covering it in between. Very slowly simmer for about an hour to 1¼ hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.

The meat is marinated in the following marinade for about 12 hours

  • ½ pint (3 dl.) dry white wine
  • 2 carrots finely sliced
  • 2 medium onions finely sliced
  • 3 cloves finely sliced
  • 1 stock celery, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic
  • sprigs of parsley and thyme
  • 1 oz. (30 g.) caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 2 oz. (60 g.) blanched and halved almonds
  • 1 oz. (30 g) stoned raisins sonked in a little water
  • 1 oz. (30 g.) currants sonked in a little water
  • 2 oz. (60 g.) bitter chocolate, finely grated

Put the sugar into a saucepan with a teaspoonful of water and caramelize over heat. Add a tablespoon of wine vinegar and bring to the boil. Leave to cool.

When the hare is done remove from the pan and keep hot. Strain into the sugar/vinegar sauce half of the liquid in which the hare was cooking. Add the blanched and halved almonds, raisins, currants and bitter chocolate. Stir for 2 minutes. This sauce is wonderful with the strong hare or venison meat, as the chocolate brings out the flavour without being really discernible. It can be served separately and the hare carved at table, or the hare may be carved in slices in the kitchen and the sauce poured over. Be careful to keep it very hot.

Plain rice or boiled potatoes are best with this dish and red wine, rough cider, or beer should be drunk with it. It calls for something more definite than water.