Hare pappardelle

Hare pappardelle

Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin

This is one of the first game dishes I cooked while I was working at the River Café in London. It was my introduction to proper furred game and handling the whole untouched beast – fairly intimidating – but the results were so delicious it was worth it. The hare is cooked slowly, which is one of the best ways to enjoy this particular meat. Hare is more similar to venison than rabbit when it comes to cooking; you can substitute either if you’re having trouble finding hare.


Quantity Ingredient
150g plain flour, to dust
freshly ground black pepper
1 hare, jointed into legs and saddle, (divided into 4 pieces)
120ml olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely diced
2 small carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
375ml cabernet sauvignon
3 cloves
1/2 cinnamon stick
125ml cream
250g dried egg pappardelle
45g parmesan, shaved


  1. Place the flour, salt and pepper in a zip-lock plastic bag. Add the hare pieces and shake well to coat.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  3. Heat half the oil in a large ovenproof saucepan or flameproof casserole dish over medium–high heat. Working in batches, brown the hare pieces evenly all over. Remove and set aside.
  4. Using paper towel, wipe the pan clean and heat the remaining olive oil over low–medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery, scraping any browned meat and flour off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Sauté the vegetables for 15 minutes, until they begin to soften and lightly brown. Stir in the garlic and tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour in the wine and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cloves, cinnamon and the hare, then cover loosely with a sheet of dampened baking paper and the lid, and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the saddle of the hare to a bowl and continue to cook the legs for a further 30 minutes, until very tender. If the sauce seems too dry, add about 125 ml water as needed.
  5. Remove the legs from the sauce. Use a fork to remove the meat from the bones, discarding the bones as you go, and keeping the leg meat separate from the saddle meat. Pick through the meat, carefully shredding it as you do so. Discard the cinnamon and cloves from the sauce.
  6. Transfer the sauce and shredded leg meat to a food processor and blitz until the meat is finely chopped. Pour this into a saucepan and add the cream and the shredded saddle meat. Gently heat through and taste to check the seasoning.
  7. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pappardelle as per the packet instructions. Drain thoroughly and combine well with the sauce. Garnish with the shaved parmesan.
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