Hare today, gone tomorrow

Sorry, I couldn’t resist that.

My good friend Jonathan is a farmer and we’ve got to know each other through the medium of meat. He raises cattle for his own farm shop on the border between Leeds and Bradford (we call it bandit country round here) and from time to time he can get hold of some ‘special stuff’.

On this occasion it was a wild hare. I’ve had rabbit before so I kind of knew what to expect but nothing prepares you for the size of a wild hare: it’s bright eyes on steroids.

Those of you who know me well and follow my tweets will know I’m up for anything unusual from a food perspective and a wild hare is no exception. I have to confess the thought of a jugged hare with all its skin still attached was slightly daunting, so Jonathan kindly offered to skin and draw the magnificent beast.

Game is usually hung for quite some time with all it’s guts still in there to ripen the ‘high’ flavour which is much sought after by aficionados. I, on the other hand, bottled it after hanging it for 7 days or so after following Hugh’s sage advice in the River Cottage Meat Book (my bible in these matters).

Jonathan made pretty swift work of the gutting and skinning of the hare and after keeping the liver and ‘jugged’ blood for the sauce, the head and feet were chopped and we had a rather grisly looking carcass. It’s on these occasions it’s handy not only to have a farmer on hand, but a trained butcher too and of course Jonathan is both.

Next job is cooking the bad boy and that’s a weekend job – this post is the first instalment. Hopefully I’ll be able to do the hare justice and cook it to perfection.

Those of you of a sensitive disposition, look away now…



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