Idiot hare stew

Idiot hare stew

By
From
A Year of Practiculture
Serves
4
Photographer
Rohan Anderson & Kate Berry

This recipe is so easy I reckon any idiot can make it! Now I’m not saying you’re an idiot, I’m just saying that for anyone out there lacking confidence in cooking wild meat, this is the doorway to wild food pleasure land. It’s a land where meat is so tender it falls from the bone and melts in your mouth. It’s a happy land where dentures are welcome, because mastication is optional. This meat is so tender you could tongue it down to your gut. Some folks out there are sceptics when it comes to getting wild meat tender, and this meal – well, it will open their minds like a weekend hunting trip with Hunter S. Thompson.

Hare is fine meat. It’s royal. It’s red, dark red like lamb or venison. And the taste sits comfortably between those two meats too. There’s a gaminess to the meat, so it tends to hang well with some fruity action, hence my use of cinnamon and nutmeg here, which are also a little fruity – and let’s face it, there’s nothing wrong with being a little fruity.

This is a perfect feed for when the nights become cooler. It’s great for those days when I’m out in the field working on some annoying physical job that leaves me stuffed and hungry by the end of the day. I can drop the stew on around mid-morning and return to working. By evening, when the sun has dropped over the hills and my muscles ache, I can enjoy dinner with no immediate effort other than spooning it into a bowl. That’s what I call easy takeaway! I’m usually so lazy I’ll just slice bread and dip it into the stew instead of making rice or couscous. So if you have a bit more energy, go ahead and add your favourite carbs. I’ll stick with crusty bread and a beard full of man stew. That sounded better in my head.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 hare
plain flour, for dusting
60ml olive oil
2 large carrots, chopped
3 onions, chopped
10 garlic cloves, chopped
1.5 litres Home-made meat stock
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
5 garden-fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped
handful garden-fresh thyme, leaves picked
salt, to taste
small bowl whole new potatoes, washed
parsley, to garnish
crusty bread, to serve

Method

  1. Quarter the hare. Don’t get the butcher to do it. Do it yourself. It’s easy. Just cut around the meat of the legs where the leg joins the body, all the way down to the bone. (Stop cutting at this point otherwise you’ll blunt your knife.) Snap the leg off from the joint. See, easy! Apply the same process to the other legs. (While you’re there, cut out the backstraps by slicing along the spine and then scraping the meat off the ribs with your knife until you have a tenderloin fillet. Use the fillets in another dish.)
  2. Dust the hare legs in flour. Heat half the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and brown the hare legs, then set aside to rest in a bowl, saving any juices that leak out while they rest.
  3. In the same pan you browned the hare, heat the remaining olive juice over low–medium heat, then soften and brown the carrot, onion and garlic. You want the veg just to soften and you definitely don’t want to burn that garlic, so keep an eye on the heat. After about 10 minutes, once the veg has changed colour somewhat and softened, add the stock and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the hare legs to the pan, then stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary and thyme, and season with salt. Return the pot to a gentle simmer, not a mega-boil. Simmer for 3 hours, then add the potatoes.
  5. Check every hour for meat tenderness with a fork. If that meat falls off easily then she’s done like a dinner.
  6. Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty bread.
Tags:
rohan
anderson
practiculture
whole
larder
love
sustainable
sustainability
grow
harvest
forage
hunt
seasonal
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