This is a classic German jugged hare recipe, which I learned from my teacher (who was also a hunter) when I was training to become a chef. Really delicious, with mushrooms, bacon and more.
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Clean the mushrooms with a brush or kitchen paper. Chop them into quarters and set them aside. Peel the garlic and chop it fairly finely.
Pat the hare legs lightly dry with kitchen paper.
Heat a good knob of butter in a large casserole and sauté the bacon and mushrooms for a few minutes until they are nicely browned. Remove the mixture from the pan and set it aside.
Heat another knob of butter in the casserole and sauté the hare legs until golden brown on both sides. Remove the legs from the pan.
Add the garlic and flour to the butter and sauté briefly. Return the legs to the casserole, along with the pearl onions, thyme, bay leaf, cloves and crushed peppercorns.
Add a dash of cognac, and after a few minutes pour in the red wine until the hare legs are just covered. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low.
Let the jugged hare simmer gently for at least 2 hours. Add the cooked bacon and mushrooms for the last half hour of cooking. If you put them in at the beginning, there will be little left of the mushrooms.
The jugged hare is ready as soon as the meat falls off the bone. Emulsify the sauce with a liaison if necessary. To do this, mix 2 egg yolks with 100 ml of cream and add this to the dish.
Keep stirring regularly and you will notice that the sauce will thicken nicely. Season with salt and possibly more black pepper, then remove the thyme sprigs, bay leaves and cloves.
Finally, sprinkle with fresh parsley. Enjoy your dinner!
Where can I buy fresh pearl onions?
You can usually find fresh pearl onions at the greengrocer or wholesaler. Sometimes they also sell these frozen and ready-peeled.
If you can't find these, you can buy pickled pearl onions in jars. These are acidic, so deacidify them first by rinsing them well and then soaking them in clean water.
Where can I buy a hare?
You can buy hare legs and fillets of hare from the supermarket when it is in season. You can often buy it at the butcher and online.
What goes well with jugged hare stew?
This German jugged hare stew is best served the classic way, with mashed potatoes and stewed red cabbage. It’s also very tasty with potato croquettes, Brussels sprouts or carrots.
Where does the German name hazenpeper come from?
In the Middle Ages, meals with meat were often served with a paste of bread and butter that was soaked in water or milk. This was flavoured with pepper, to make a peppery (bread) sauce which was served with the hare, among other things.
Should the stew be made with or without the Hare’s blood?
The hare's blood is used for a truly classic hazenpeper. Together with the liaison, this produces the best and most beautiful sauce. Since not everyone likes it, I have left it out in my recipe - which does usually include it.
If you are not averse to the blood, then mix it with the liaison in a separate small pan and heat through to form a nice thick sauce. Add this to the stew and heat again.
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