Potted Hare

This is a traditional English dish and, although recommended in the eighteenth century as part of a breakfast menu, it is now more usually served as a delicious and tasty first course, with hot buttered toast.

10 SERVINGS

2 lb. boned hare, cut into

1-inch pieces

4 fl. oz. red wine

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

8 oz. unsalted pork fat, diced

1 pint boiling water

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

Preheat the oven to cool 300°F (Gas Mark 2, 150°C).

Place the meat in a large mixing bowl and pour over the red wine, vinegar and enough water to just cover the meat. Set aside at room temperature for 2 hours. Drain the meat in a strainer and discard the marinade. Pat the meat dry with kitchen paper towels and set aside.

In a large frying-pan, cook the pork fat over moderate heat for 8 minutes, stirring frequently, or until it has rendered most of its fat. Add the meat to the frying-pan and cook it, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until it is evenly browned on all sides. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the meat and fat into an ovenproof casserole. Pour the boiling water into the casserole and stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, thyme and marjoram. Cover the casserole and place it in the oven.

Cook the meat for 22 hours or until it is very tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the casserole from the oven. Strain the contents of the casserole into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Place the meat on a board and, with a sharp knife, chop it very finely. Transfer the meat to a medium-sized terrine and set aside.

Place the mixing bowl in the refrigera-tor to chill for 20 minutes or until the fat has come to the top and is just starting to set. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator. Skim the fat from the surface and place it in a small saucepan.

Place the pan over low heat and melt the fat. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the fat into the terrine.

Cover the terrine with’aluminium foil and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

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