Chef Jose Souto writes:

We eat few hares in the UK. Indeed, around 90 per cent of those harvested here go abroad. This is mainly due to the fact that when it comes to cooking hare we seem to be stuck in a time warp. Not many chefs look beyond the jugged hare recipe of old, a dish that to many of today’s tastes is strong and unappealing. Even the process by which the hare’s blood is collected then later used to thicken the cooking juices sounds unsavoury to many. But it does not need to be like this. Hare is a fantastic meat if you cook it well and with care.

There are a couple of things to remember about hare. First, its meat is strong in terms of flavour and smell, which can put people off. Secondly, it is a mammal and as such has parts that are tender and will cook quickly (the first-class cuts such as the loins) and parts that are tougher and will therefore take longer to cook (second-class cuts such as the shoulders and legs).

I gut and skin my hares as soon as I can then wash the whole animal in cold water two or three times. This will tone down the strong odour and taste without detracting from its fantastic natural flavour. Cut the hare into two shoulders, two legs, one saddle and one rib end. Remove the silvery sinew from the saddle but leave the loins on the bone.

The legs and shoulders are for stewing and braising dishes, the loin is for roasting and the rib end is for making sauces.

hare stew

Hare stew with bacon, onions and a beer sauce

Hare stew with bacon, onions and a beer sauce Ingredients Oil for frying 1kg diced hare legs and shoulder 150g streaky bacon, cut into lardons 15g butter 2 onions, sliced thinly 30g flour 330ml Pale ale beer or Stout 700ml Dark chicken stock Good sprig of marjoram Good sprig of…

hare ragout

Hare ragu recipe

I would recommend using the legs of the hare for this hare ragu recipe and keeping the loins for a later date. Hare Ragu Ingredients Olive oil ½ onion, finely diced 50g celery, finely diced 50g carrots, finely diced 800g minced hare (legs are best) 80g pancetta, minced 40g tomato…

hare hash recipe

Recipe for slow-cooked hare hash

When I was a young chef, 
I worked with a chap known only as Wolfie, who was an excellent cook, and he once spent an hour on a Sunday morning enlightening me as to the best way to make a corned beef hash. This is his recipe, but I have…

Roast loin of hare

Roast loin of hare with a chocolate and redcurrant sauce

Roast loin of hare with a chocolate and redcurrant sauce Serves 4 Ingredients – Vegetable oil for frying 2 rib ends of hare, chopped up with bones on to 1in pieces ½ onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped ½ stick celery, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped Dessert…

Hare pie

Hare pie with sweet potato, carrots and cabbage

Ingredients for hare pie 4 hare legs (one per portion) 4 tbsp rock salt 1 tbsp cracked black pepper 600ml vegetable oil Filling from 4 large pork sausages 40g pistachio nuts, chopped 4 large prunes, chopped 1 tbsp chopped parsley 1 measure brandy Salt and pepper 8 slices Parma ham…

jugged hare recipe

Jugged hare

This jugged hare recipe marries slow-braised hare meat with a sauce made from hare blood, red wine and herbs