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Monday, 28 September 2015

Hare today, gone tomorrow!

If a farm has an abundance of hares, there will be crop damage to some degree or another. Cereals will definitely get munched but they can also do tree damage! ring-barking small saplings and succulents, the Hare can be a pest to nurserymen and gardener alike.

The Hare is an enchanting creature which can disappear at the drop of a hat, flattening itself to invisibility in a crop which would appear too short to cover it but it manages it somehow, can accelerate at a speed which would do justice to 'the stig' and of course in March, will box and scrap until the fur flies.



I have spoken previously about how you may cook them (see my article "Bad Hare Day" ) but there is no shortage of other ways to convert this rich dark meat into a culinary master piece.



The following recipe comes highly recommended by a friend who regularly converts hare into deliciousness! Thanks to Dave Clark for the recommendation, this recipe is found in Maxine Clark's book, 'flavours of Tuscany - recipes from the heart of Italy' pages 60-61. (ISBN 1-84597-143-4)



The recipe is for wide egg noodles with rich hare sauce. 
I hope I'll be forgiven for only covering the sauce and not the noodles, I would be one of the Philistines who bought the noodles but as I'm the one who gets up at 'stupid O'clock, walks miles, shoots the hare, butchers it and clears up afterwards, I'm allowing myself that luxury! 

 Ingredients: 
I medium sized hare, same quantity of meat in the form of rabbit or duck breast also works. 
3 tbspns olive oil. 
4 tbspns butter.
1 each finely diced celery stick, onion & carrot.

2 cloves of chopped garlic.

75g of unsmoked pancetta.

2 tbspns flour.
300 ml dry red wine.
Ca 600 ml game or good chicken stock.
2 fresh bay leaves.
1 tbspn chopped fresh rosemary (plus sprigs for garnish).
1 tbspn chopped fresh sage.
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Freshly grated Parmesan to serve.




Method:

Cut the meat from the bone and dice or process. Heat the butter and oil in a sauté pan and add the chopped onion, garlic, celery and carrot. Stir gently for 10 minutes or until soft and browning. Alternatively you can joint the hare and cook with all the other ingredients and then just lift the bones out, dicing the meat in to the sauce. Season with the salt and pepper, stir in the flour then the wine and half the stock. Mix thoroughly scraping any sediment off of the base of the pan, add the herbs and bring to the boil, turn down the heat and half cover and simmer for at least 2 hours adding more stock as required, until the meat is tender and the sauce thick and reduced.


Enjoy!


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