This jugged hare recipe marries slow-braised hare meat with a sauce made from hare blood, red wine and herbs
Hare meat is far darker, redder and more robust than the mildly flavoured meat of its cousin, the rabbit. The rich taste goes superbly with other strong flavours, such as bold wine and wild herbs, and if cooked slowly will fall off the bone in tender chunks.
Jugged hare would traditionally be made in a jug, but you can make it just as easily in a saucepan.
This jugged hare recipe is by Stephen Englefield, head chef at the Jugged Hare in London.
Ingredients for jugged hare:
- 8 hare hindlegs
- 1litre red wine
- 4 juniper berries, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- 1tbsp flour, plus extra for dusting
- Vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 50g butter
- 1tbsp tomato puree
- 3litres beef stock
- 300ml hare blood (can be bought from butcher’s)
How to cook this jugged hare recipe:
- Cut the hare legs in half at the joint, then cut them through the middle of the thigh, so you have three pieces from each leg.
- Put the pieces into a non-reactive bowl or dish, together with the red wine, juniper, bay leaf and thyme. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.
- Drain the hare in a colander over a bowl and pat the pieces dry with some kitchen paper. Keep the marinade.
- Season the pieces of hare and lightly flour them, dusting off any excess.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, in a heavy-based saucepan, gently cook the onion in the butter for three to four minutes until soft.
- Add the tablespoon of flour and stir well over a medium heat until it begins to turn a sandy colour.
- Add the tomato purée, then slowly add the red wine and herb 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.
- Add the beef stock and hare, bring back to the boil, cover and simmer gently for an hour (or you can cook this in an oven that has been preheated to 160°C/gas mark 3).
- Remove a piece of meat to check if it is tender; if not, continue cooking for another 30 minutes or so.
- Once the meat is tender, remove all the pieces of meat from the sauce and set aside.
- 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. Add more seasoning if necessary.