George Biron says, "Hare is one of the very few really wild meats available to the cook in Australia. In this recipe we utilise the whole animal including the offal and carcass, nothing is wasted. All red meats especially game require a period of hanging: that is being left to mature on the bone in a cool temperature. We hang our hares for approx 12 days, skinned and with the offal removed at about three degrees Celsius. We eat the offal fresh or freeze it to incorporate it into this dish. This recipe can be adapted for rabbit or indeed any other meats".
- 1 hare, broken down into: front legs, back legs, fillets, liver, kidneys and the carcass
For the stock
- front legs and hare carcass chopped into about 8 pieces
- 300 g beef shank
- 1 pig’s trotter
- 4 chicken wings (these will add complexity and body to the stock)
- 150 g carrot, diced
- 150 g onion, diced
- 50 g celery, diced
- 1 head garlic
- 5 juniper berries
- olive oil
- bay leaves
- splash shiraz
For the meat
- back legs, boned and cubed
- liver and kidneys, rough diced
- 50 g carrots, finely diced
- 50 g onions, finely diced
- 30 g celery, finely diced
- 150 g speck or fat from ham or prosciutto
- 3 garlic cloves
- 5 juniper berries, crushed
- salt and black pepper
- 100 g pork caul (crepinette)
- backstrap fillets, cut into 6 even pieces
- 3 medium beetroot, baked whole, peeled and cut to segments.
- 180 g wild fungi such as slippery jacks [Suillus luteus] or pine mushrooms [Lactarius deliciosa] (see Note)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You'll need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead
Chilling time overnight
To make the stock. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Place all the ingredients except bay leaves and wine in a roasting pan, toss to coat in the oil and roast for 1 hour or until a rich browning is achieved. Transfer to a saucepan, cover with water, add the bay leaves and bring to the boil. Skim after it comes to the boil; lower the temperature and simmer at least 2 hours. Strain into a container and cool to room temperature, skim, then refrigerate overnight.
Remove the fat that has set on the top, measure the stock, transfer to a saucepan and add about ⅓ shiraz by volume. Reduce stock by ⅔ until it becomes a dark and unctuous sauce. It will be very well flavoured.
Meanwhile, for the meat, mince the meat from the legs with the offal, vegetables, fat, garlic and juniper berries. Season and fry off a small piece to test seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
Lay out a piece of caul about 10 cm square and cover with a 1 cm layer of mince. Place the hare fillet in the middle and cover with mince and caul to make a small sausage shaped parcel. Refrigerate until required.
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Seal the hare parcels in a hot pan, using a little oil, until golden. Roast the hare parcel for about 8 minutes. Rest in a warm spot for about three minutes.
While the meat is resting, poach the fungi and beetroot in the red wine and hare sauce.
Cut the hare parcel into 3 pieces on the diagonal and garnish with the beetroot, fungi and sauce. Serve with your favourite style of spuds.
• Fresh shiitake mushrooms are a good substitute or dried porcini reconstituted in the stock.