Herby hare & a naughty gravy

Herby hare & a naughty gravy

A Year of Practiculture
Rohan Anderson & Kate Berry

Life’s short, right? With that in mind, why don’t you treat yourself to some fine-o dine-o? And this, my friends, is a pretty easy-to-make meal that gives some pretty rad results. When the hunting season starts again in autumn, the cauliflower is in abundance, and if you’re lucky so are the wild mushrooms. I’m still a firm believer that some magic happens when you cook ingredients together that are all in season at the same time. Something just makes it work. Maybe there are food fairies out there who cast magic spells over our food to give the illusion that the seasonal approach to cooking is right. Maybe it’s just all that acid I took when I was at uni. Fairies or no fairies, this meal is the business.

Sometimes the early autumn rain isn’t so early. Sometimes we’ve had unseasonably dry autumns – something to do with climate change, apparently. So I’m using wild mushrooms I dried last autumn. If you’re not a raving-mad bearded forager, you may go ahead and use dried porcini. It will produce equally good results.


Quantity Ingredient
4 hare backstraps
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Herb marinade

Quantity Ingredient
2 rosemary sprigs
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon juniper berries
1 teaspoon mountain pepper berries or black peppercorns
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt, to taste

Naughty gravy

Quantity Ingredient
handful dried wild mushrooms, roughly chopped
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
125ml pedro ximenez
90g My chorizo, diced
1 tablespoon cornflour
50g butter
salt, to taste

Roasted cauliflower mash

Quantity Ingredient
1-2 garden-fresh cauliflower heads
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
handful parsley, chopped, (I use curly)
50-100g cheese, grated, (I use cheddar, tasty, pecorino, Grana Padano)
1 lemon, juiced
salt, to taste


  1. To make the herb marinade, bash the rosemary, garlic, juniper berries and mountain pepper in a mortar and pestle until they form a paste. Add the olive juice, season with salt, and stir together. Rub this all over the hare and refrigerate overnight in an airtight container.
  2. Before you start to make the gravy, soak the dried mushrooms in 500 ml water for 1 hour. Reserving the liquid, drain the mushrooms and set aside in a bowl.
  3. To make the gravy, heat the olive oil (a generous glug) in a frying pan over low– medium heat and gently cook the onion and garlic. It’s important not to have the heat too high, as we want to really take our time cooking here. As the onions start to cook, add a splash of the mushroom juice. It should smell amazing. Continue the process of cooking out the mushroom juice, letting the onions dry somewhat and then adding more juice until you have about 60 ml remaining in the pan. On the last splash of mushroom juice, add the sherry, mushrooms and chorizo.
  4. Mix the cornflour with 250 ml cold water and whisk well using a fork. Add this to the gravy, then simmer and reduce until you have a fine sauce. Melt in the butter and season with salt.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  6. Now make the cauliflower mash. Rip apart the cauliflower and place in a roasting tin with the olive juice. Roast for 40 minutes, when the cauliflower should be getting a bit of burn action.
  7. Blitz the roasted cauliflower in a bowl using a hand-held blender. Add the parsley, cheese and lemon juice, then blitz again until fluffy. Season with salt.
  8. Now cook the hare. Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron frying pan over high heat. Sear the herbed backstraps, turning regularly to ensure they cook evenly. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for a few minutes.
  9. Slice up the hare, sit it on a bed of cauliflower mash and smother it all with naughty gravy.
  10. Eat this with a lover. And wine.
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