Hare meat is darker and gamier than rabbit and is a treat to eat, so it's worth taking the time to make this special dish

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Ingredients for hare pie

  • 4 hare legs (one per portion)
  • 4 tbsp rock salt
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 600ml vegetable oil
  • Filling from 4 large pork sausages
  • 40g pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 4 large prunes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 measure brandy
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices Parma ham
  • 250g puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten

Vegetables

  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 400g diced sweet potato
  • 1/2 small cabbage, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped sage

Cooking time: 3.25 hours

Method

Step 1: The pie filling is prepared in advance and refrigerated, so that baking and serving the pie takes no more than 20 minutes – ideal for a home cook with limited time. In order to minimise wastage we’ve used the hare legs, assuming the saddle and loin are needed for another dish. Hare meat is darker and gamier than rabbit with a distinctive flavour, which is more akin to venison. Hare is a treat to eat and should be prepared with care so as not to dry it out.

Start by making a confit of hare. Place the hare legs in rock salt and black pepper overnight. Next day wipe off the seasoning and place the legs in a thick bottomed saucepan. Cover with vegetable oil and poach on a slow heat for two- and-a-half to three hours until the meat starts to fall of the bone.

Remove from the oil and pick the meat off the bone. Mix with the forcemeat from the sausages, pistachios, prunes, parsley and a splash of brandy. Season with salt and pepper. Shape the meat into four “burgers”.

Hare pie

Step 2: To make each pie, line a large ladle with clingfilm. Lay a slice of Parma ham on top of the clingfilm, then place

a burger in the ladle and fold the ham up round it. Finally wrap the cling film round each filling and transfer to the fridge to “set”.

Hare pie 3

Step 3: For the crust, lightly roll the puff pastry and cut into four squares. Brush each pastry square with beaten egg and place the pie filling in the centre. Fold over the corners and shape by hand as in the picture. Dust off any excess flour and brush with beaten egg. Use a sharp knife to score the top into segments from the centre with a sharp knife and bake in a preheated over for about 15 minutes at 200°C.

Hare pie

Step 4: We used diced sweet potato and carrot as accompaniments but parsnip, turnip, artichoke or swede would do just as well. Melt a knob of butter in a pan, sweat the diced vegetables, then add half a cup of boiling water and cook for three to four minutes. Finally add chopped cabbage and sage. Cover and steam until the cabbage is tender, for about eight minutes.

Serve with mashed potato with parsley and gravy from a reduction of game stock.

Got the taste for hare? Here’s another hare recipe for you to try.

Thanks to Taste of Game for supplying this recipe for hare pie.