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Hare - Civet in an Italian-style
A traditional way of cooking hare in the Piedmont region of Italy
Ingredients for 4 people:
1 Hare, weighing about 2.5-2.75kg/5-5½ lbs – cut into joints by your butcher
3 tablespoons (45ml) mild Olive Oil
3 medium Onions, skinned, then cut into quarters
1 stick of celery, washed, and cut into thick batons
1 sprig of Rosemary, cut into 4 pieces
1 Bouquet Garni – the best for this dish are called Bouquet Garni for Game from - www.gourmetherbs.co.uk
2 Red Peppers, seeded, then cut into strips
4 medium Carrots, peeled, then cut into quarters along their length
1 bottle of heavy Red Wine
1 teaspoon (5ml) Salt, freshly-ground Pepper, ½ teaspoon (2ml) Cayenne
1 red pepper, seeded, then cut into strips
2 medium carrots, peeled, then cut into small batons
the hare's blood (optional)
1. Heat the oil and butter in a big frying pan, and brown the hare pieces on all sides. Transfer then to a large flame-resistant casserole, with a tight-fitting lid.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, including the salt, plenty of pepper and ½ teaspoon Cayenne.
3. Bring the mixture to simmering point, cover and cook very slowly until the hare is tender – about 2 hours. Turn the hare over carefully from time to time, and check its progress.
4. Put the hare on a serving dish, cover, and keep warm.
5. Rapidly cook the garnishing vegetables in a little of the hare sauce, while boiling down the rest to concentrate the flavour.
6. Strain the garnishing liquor back into the sauce and arrange the pieces on the hare.
7. Correct the seasoning of the sauce, and stir in the blood away from the heat if you choose to use it.
8. Pour carefully round the hare, putting some in a jug so as not to swamp th dish.
In the Piedmont, this would be served with polenta – either fried or plain. See Polenta.