To Roast a Hare

Hare trussed.
1¼ to 1¾ hour.

[In season from September to the 1st of March]


After the hare has been skinned, or cased, as it is called, wash it very thoroughly in cold water, and afterwards in warm. If in any degree overkept, or musty in the inside, which it will sometimes be when emptied before it is hung up and neglected afterwards, use vinegar, or the pyroligneous acid, well diluted, to render it sweet; then again throw it into abundance of water, that it may retain no taste of the acid. Pierce with the point of a knife any parts in which the blood appears to have settled, and soak them in tepid water, that it may be well drawn out. Wipe the hare dry, fill it with the forcemeat No. 1, sew it up, truss and spit it firmly, baste it for ten minutes with lukewarm water mixed with a very little salt; throw this away, and put into the pan a quart or more of new milk; keep it constantly laded over the hare until it is nearly dried up, then add a large lump of butter, flour the hare, and continue the basting steadily until it is well browned; for unless this be done, and the roast be kept at a proper distance from the fire, the outside will become so dry and hard as to be quite uneatable. Serve the hare when done, with good brown gravy (of which a little should be poured round it in the dish), and with fine red currant jelly. This is an approved English method of dressing it, but we would recommend in preference, that it should be basted plentifully with butter from the beginning (the strict economist may substitute clarified beef-dripping, or marrow, and finish with a small quantity of butter only); and that the salt and water should be altogether omitted. First-rate cooks merely wipe the hare inside and out, and rub it with its own blood before it is laid to the fire; but there is generally a rankness about it, especially after it has been many days killed, which, we should say, renders the washing indispensable, unless a coarse game-flavour be liked.