Classic jugged hare

8
2 hours

Ingredients

  • 8 hare legs
  • 2l red wine
  • 4 juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sprigs of fresh thyme
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 100g of button mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 carrots, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp of tomato purée
  • 3l beef stock
  • 300ml of hare blood, (ask your butcher to reserve this for you when he butchers the hare)

Method

1
Cut the hare legs in half at the joint and then cut them once more through the middle of the thigh, so you end up with three pieces from each leg
2
Put the pieces into a non-metal bowl or dish, together with the red wine, juniper berries, bay leaf and thyme. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 24 hours (or even 48 hours)
3
Drain the hare in a colander over a bowl and pat the pieces dry with some kitchen paper, before seasoning the hare legs well and dusting in a little flour. Reserve the marinade for cooking
4
Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy frying pan and fry the pieces, a few at a time, until well-coloured, then put to one side on a plate
5
Meanwhile, in a heavy-based saucepan, gently cook the onion in the butter for 3 – 4 minutes until soft, then add the mushrooms and carrots and cook for a few more minutes more
6
Add the tablespoon of flour and tomato purée, then slowly add the red wine and herbs from the marinade, stirring well to avoid lumps forming. Bring to the boil and simmer over a medium heat until the liquid has reduced to half the volume
7
Add the beef stock and hare, bring back to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour (or you can cook this in an oven that has been preheated to 160°C/gas mark 3)
8
Remove a piece of meat to check if it's tender; if not, continue cooking for another 30 minutes or so
9
Once the meat is tender, remove all the pieces of meat from the sauce and set aside
10
Add the blood and continue to simmer the sauce until it has thickened to a gravy-like consistency, then return the pieces of meat to warm through until it's ready to serve. Adjust the seasoning if necessary