Hare in Sweet and Sour Sauce

This is a distinctive dish for a dinner party. The cranberry sauce cuts some of the strong flavour of the meat and the wine gives it piquancy. Serve accompanied by broccoli and creamed potatoes.

1 x

4 to

5 lb. hare, skinned and cut into serving pieces

4 teaspoons salt

2 oz. flour

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 oz. butter

1 tablespoon olive oil onions, finely chopped

2 carrots, scraped and sliced bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

1 ½ pints beef stock

4 oz. canned cranberry sauce

6 fl. oz. red wine

Place the hare pieces in a large mixing bowl. Cover the meat with cold water and add 3 teaspoons of the salt. Leave the meat to soak for at least 1 hour.

Drain the hare pieces in a colander and dry them thoroughly with kitchen paper towels.

Combine the flour with half of the remaining salt and half of the pepper on a large plate. Dip the meat in the seasoned flour to coat the pieces thoroughly on all sides. Shake off any excess flour.

Preheat the oven to warm 325 °F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C).

In a large flameproof casserole, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the hare pieces and cook them quickly for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are evenly browned on all sides.

Remove the meat from the casserole and set it aside.

Add the onions and carrots to the casserole and cook them, stirring occa-sionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown.

Replace the hare pieces in the casserole and add the bouquet garni and the remaining salt and pepper. Pour in the stock and bring it to the boil. Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Braise for 2 hours, or until the hare is very tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the casserole from the oven. With tongs, remove the meat from the casserole and place the pieces on a warmed dish.

Keep them warm.

Strain the juices from the casserole into a measuring jug. Pour 15 fluid ounces of the juices into a medium-sized saucepan and discard the remainder. Add the cranberry sauce and wine. Place the pan over low heat and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occa-sionally. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Return the hare pieces to the casserole and pour over the sauce. Return the casserole to the oven and braise for a further

20 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve immediately, in the casserole.