Roast Hare

Lièvre rôti


Take a hare which has been hung for seven or eight days; skin it thus: Cut off the fore and hind legs at the first joint, slit the belly skin right along, raise the skin and force the hind legs out of it, leaving the tail on: draw the skin over the back and head and forelegs, taking care to leave the ears on, and remove the eyes by means of a small knife; open it along the belly and remove the intestines, leaving only the kidneys, and taking care not to break the pouch. Should the pouch by any accident get broken, wipe the inside of the hare with a dry cloth. Cut the sinews beneath the hind legs and press them towards the head, and bring the fore legs backwards to the hind ones, so that a skewer can be passed through the two legs on one side and through the body and put through the two legs on the other side, and fasten the skewer with a string over the back, so that the hare is kept in nice shape on the skewer. Press back the head, and pass a skewer through the top of the shoulder and the back of the neck, and out through the top of the other shoulder, and fasten the string as above. Brush well all over with warm dripping, put a piece of slitted bacon to cover the back, and tie it down with string in three or four places, and roast in front of a brisk fire for twenty to twenty-five minutes, according to the size of the hare or whether it is wished to have it lightly or well cooked. Keep it well basted during the roasting, and when done dish it up on a hot flat dish, remove the strings and skewers, keep the bacon on, and garnish with watercress, and serve with clear gravy or the sauce made from the hare’s liver and blood, as below. Warm red currant jelly or green gooseberry sauce can be served in a sauceboat.

Sauce for the Hare

Remove the gall carefully from the liver of the hare, then blanch it and rinse in cold water and chop it fine; put into a stewpan one ounce of good butter, one peeled eschalot chopped fine, a dust of cayenne pepper, a pinch of salt, a teaspoonful of chopped parsley, a pinch of chopped thyme, one fresh mushroom washed and dried and chopped, and one bayleaf; fry these together for six to eight minutes, then add a wineglass of port wine, a quarter of a pint of thick brown sauce, half an ounce of glaze, a dessertspoonful of red-currant jelly, and bring to the boil; skim, and then add the blood of the hare, in which is mixed about one ounce of butter broken up in little pieces, and stir it very quickly into the sauce, and on no account allow it to boil after adding the blood to it, then add the chopped liver and serve hot in a sauceboat.