This is a wonderful winter dish. If you can't find hare, you can use rabbit - but use a white wine instead of red, as the flavour of rabbit is a more delicate than hare.

Serves
4

Preparation

40min

Cooking

3hr
45min

Skill level

Ace
By
6
Average: 3 (1 vote)
Yum

Ingredients

  • 2 fresh hares or rabbits, dissected into legs and saddle (retain the bones and roast for the stock)

For the meat

  • 500 ml red wine
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tsp juniper berries
  • 5 ripe egg tomatoes
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 500 g goose fat

Stock for sauce

  • 300 g butter
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tsp juniper berries
  • 5 ripe egg tomatoes
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 500 ml red wine
  • roasted hare bones
  • 500 ml veal stock
  • 1 litre veal stock
  • 1 litre chicken stock

Pastry

  • 500 g savoury pastry
  • 500 g puff pastry
  • 4 egg yolks

Cook's notes

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.

Instructions

Marinating time overnight

Clean hares by removing any offal inside. Dissect hares into legs and saddle. Retain bones, chop and roast for stock.

To make stock (which when reduced becomes the sauce), melt butter in a large pot and add half of the chopped vegetables, juniper berries, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic and thyme, simmer till golden brown.

Add roasted hare bones, chopped tomatoes and 500 ml red wine. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add veal stock and chicken stock & bring to the boil then skim well. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours, skimming regularly. Once a heady flavour is released, strain stock and reduce until the stock shows some body.

For the meat, place hare legs in a deep roasting pan with the remaining vegetables, peppercorns and juniper berries, thyme and garlic. Make sure legs are fully covered in half the red wine and leave overnight or for 12 hours.

After they have been marinating for at least 12 hours, place roasting tray on top of stove and slowly heat the legs in the marinade. Add sea salt, goose fat, tomatoes and bay leaves, a little chicken and veal stock and cover tightly in aluminium foil. Place in tray in moderate oven and braise for 1 2 hours until meat is tender.

Remove hare legs from braising liquor. Allow to cool and dice meat from bones. Skim braising liquor off the goose fat and reduce to a gelatinous reduction. Pour reduced braising liquor over chopped hare meat. Place in the fridge and allow to cool completely. Taste for seasoning.

Place meat into pre-baked pastry shells and seal with puff pastry lids. Glaze with egg yolks. Put in the fridge to set the pastry. Bake pies at 190C - 200C for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Reduce hare stock with some butter then add chopped tomatoes and parsley. Place a spoonful of reduced stock around the pies and serve with green peas and a puree of parsnip or potatoes.