Lièvre à la Crème

Hare with Soured Cream

An Ardéchois recipe for an autumn hare, whose meat is often sufficiently tender to roast without marinating.

Ingredients

  • saddle of hare
  • ½ teaspoon juniper berries, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon crushed peppercorns
  • olive oil
  • 1 large wineglass Ardéchois vins de pays
  • 4–5 slices of smoked streaky bacon, cooked until crisp
  • salt
  • 150 ml(¼ pt) soured cream or crème fraîche

Method

Wipe the meat with a damp cloth and if you have not already done so, remove the thin bluish skin covering the meat. Press the juniper berries and peppercorns into the meat and place the bacon on top, tucking the ends underneath if necessary.

Place the hare in a lightly oiled roasting pan and cover with foil or butter paper. Roast the meat in a moderate oven (Mark 5, 190°C, 375°F) for 30–40 minutes. Pour the red wine over the meat and roast for 5–10 minutes – the hare should be cooked but still tender.

Transfer the hare to a hot serving dish and keep hot. Cut the crisp bacon into dice or narrow strips and set aside.

Simmer the wine and meat juices left in the roasting pan over moderate heat for a few minutes; add just a little water if the sauce is too reduced and season with salt. When ready to serve the hare, stir the soured cream into the pan and bring almost to the boil. Spoon the sauce over the hare, garnish with the bacon and serve.

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