Hare or Rabbit in Chocolate and Red Wine
In the seventies — Yes I’m afraid I am older than I look!! — I had a restaurant in the UK called La Casita and we specialised, even in those days, in Modern Spanish Cuisine. It actually didn’t exist at the time, but we sort of ‘invented it! One of the dishes we did was this one, Hare in Chocolate Sauce, but we had to describe it on the menu as Hare in Rich Red Wine Sauce as I’m not sure there would have been enough takers! It was a traditional Spanish dish, though often made with Pigeon. You can use Rabbit and even better — Venison.
Serve with olive oil and chive mash with a fresh vegetable
20/30 mins depending how good you are at cutting up a hare?
1 Hare skinned and jointed
Olive oil, for frying
1 Medium Onion
100 gms Serrano ham in strips
300 gms very finely chopped carrots
1 bouquet garni
¾ a bottle good quality red wine (you know what to do with the rest)
1 litre of chicken stock cube (or if you feel brave make your own from the carcass of the hare)
Two teaspoons of soft brown sugar
150 gms dark chocolate
Step by Step Instructions
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
If you buy the hare (or rabbit) from a supermarket here in Spain it will already be skinned, but you will need to joint it. It’s not difficult, a sharp knife inserted properly will make it easier, but there are some great You Tube instructions that you may find helpful
Combine a little flour together in a shallow bowl with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dip the hare joints (should be 4 pieces and the breast/fillet) in the seasoned flour and dust to remove any excess flour.
Return the hare to the casserole dish, add the bouquet garni, cover with the lid and transfer the dish to the oven. Cook for about 1 hour on a very low light
Remove the casserole dish from the oven and replace it on the hob. Remove the lid and the contents to one side and reduce the sauce if necessary, until slightly thickened.
Add the brown sugar and the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and combined. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add the meat and the breast/ fillet and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes on a higher oven
Heat a little olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and brown the hare (keep the breast/fillet separate) until nice and golden. Remove from the pan.
Add the onions and carrots to the pan and cook them for about 5 minutes until starting to brown. Add the Serrano ham and cook until starting to colour, then add the bouquet garni.
Pour in a splash of red wine/ sherry vinegar to deglaze the pan, reducing it to a very small amount, then add the wine, burning off the alcohol over the heat for a minute or two. Reduce the wine a little, then stir in the stock.
Serve the hare with olive oil and chive mash and chosen vegetable (Spinach is ideal)
NOTE: To make the hare stock just place all the trimmings from hare and place in boiling water for 20 minutes then strain
Bon Appétit !