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Hare - Jugged Recipe
Traditionally, a hare that's been cooked in a jug, which has been standing in a container of simmering water.
It should be cooked with the saved blood of the hare, so you'll have to come to an arrangement with your game dealer over this.
Once you have everything assembled, it's an easy, if a little messy, dish to make. It does, however, need planning ahead.
For 4 helpings:
1 Hare - with the blood and liver saved by your game dealer and divided into joints
1 tablespoon (15ml) Wine Vinegar
1 medium Onion, peeled and chopped
1 pint/600ml Dry Cider
2 medium cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped
2 Bay Leaves
1 sprig of Thyme or a big pinch of Dried Thyme - or a Bouquet Garni for Game from www.gourmetherbs.co.uk (http://www.gourmetherbs.co.uk/)
2 oz/60gr Butter
4 slices of Streaky Bacon, cut into big pieces
1 oz/30gr Butter
16 Button Onions or small Shallots, peeled
24 Button Mushrooms
2 oz/60gr Flour - seasoned with salt and freshly-ground Black Pepper
8 fl.oz/225ml Port (optional, but if not using, double the quantity of the red wine)
8 fl.oz/225ml Heavy Red Wine
10 fl.oz/300ml Beef Stock (possibly made with ½ a stock cube, unless you have home-made)
Salt and freshly-ground Black Pepper - to taste
1 tablespoon (15ml) Redcurrant Jelly
1. Put the hare pieces in a deep non-reactive container (so not aluminium) and add the chopped onion, garlic, herbs and cider and try to push the meat pieces under the liquid. If this is difficult (possibly because of the shape of your container) add a little more cider or water.
2. Cover, and leave this mixture for 6-8 hours, turning the hare over occasionally.
3. Drain the hare from the marinade - but keep it.
4. Pat it dry, then roll it in the seasoned flour - set it aside.
5. Heat half the first quantity of butter in a heavy frying pan and seal the hare pieces until brown on all sides. This might have to be done in stages, adding the remaining butter as you go. Transfer the hare to a heatproof casserole as you go. Keep the frying pan, as you'll need it later.
6. Add the marinade, the wine, stock and Port if using - the hare must be covered, or it will become dry.
7. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cook, covered, in a pre-heated oven - 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 1 hour.
8. Remove the dish from the oven and set it aside.
9. Gently melt the second quantity of butter in the frying pan and add the button onions/shallots, bacon pieces and mushrooms - turning them over so they gain a little colour. Add these to the hare mixture.
10. While they are slowly frying, blend the hares liver with its blood and the vinegar (this will stop it curdling).
11. Return the hare to the heat, and when heated through, remove from the heat and slowly add the blood mixture - stirring continuously. The sauce mustn't boil again, or the blood might split.
12. Add the red currant jelly and check the seasoning.
Serve - perhaps with fried bread cut into croûtes.