Casserole of hare

Casserole of hare

Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Hare is akin to rabbit in flavour, although it is darker and more gamey. Young hare (up to 1 year old) is called ‘leveret’; it may be roasted whole, or with fore and hind legs removed (saddle of hare), or forelegs only removed (baron of hare). It is often first marinated for a day or so before cooking as it tends to be dry, and is then roasted in the same way as rabbit. However, if there is any doubt about tenderness, hare is best casseroled or used for a pie.


Quantity Ingredient
1 hare, jointed
plain flour, seasoned
1 tablespoon oil
15g butter
125g streaky bacon, rind removed, diced
12 small onions
1 stick celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 bouquet garni
60ml port
250ml beef or game stock
1 lemon, juiced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1-2 tablespoons Beurre manié
1-2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
croutons, to serve


Quantity Ingredient
250ml red wine
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
3 cloves
4-5 juniper berries, crushed
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine marinade ingredients, bring to the boil, cool and pour over hare. Marinate for 12 hours, turning pieces occasionally. Remove hare; strain marinade and reserve liquid. Dry hare, dust with seasoned flour and brown in hot oil and butter in a flameproof casserole. Remove hare.
  2. Add bacon and vegetables to casserole and sauté until onions are coloured. Place hare on top of vegetables and add bouquet garni, port, stock, lemon juice and strained marinade. Season lightly with salt and pepper, bring to simmering point, cover tightly and bake in a preheated slow oven (150°C) for 2–3 hours or until hare is tender.
  3. Transfer hare, bacon and vegetables to a heated serving dish. Skim fat from liquid in casserole, discard bouquet garni and thicken a little with beurre manié. Stir in redcurrant jelly to taste, adjust seasoning and pour over hare. Garnish the casserole with croûtons and serve immediately.
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