The classic germanic hare stew taken from French Regional Cookery – Alsace , or so I thought. (Well, Alsace does suffer from a French/German identity crisis.) Before I’d cooked this, given my basic knowledge of German, I thought that the pfeffer part of the name might imply that it were a little peppery. It seems not, more’s the pity. Apparently, pfeffer also refers to thickening a dish with blood, just as in the very English jugged hare. Somewhat disappointingly, this might as well be called lièvre au vin or lièvre Bourguinon , for it closely resembles both. It does taste good, nonthemore for that.
- 225 g green bacon, diced
- 1¾ kg hare, jointed, blood & liver reserved
- salt & pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 onions, sliced
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs Marc d’Alsace or brandy
- 50 g butter
- 18 small onions, peeled
- 18 button mushrooms, wiped
- 1 clove garlic
- 25 g plain flour
- 350 ml red wine
- 350 ml game or beef stock
- bouquet garni
- 5 tbs single cream
- parsley sprigs for garnish
Put the hare into a bowl and season with the salt, pepper and thyme. Add the bay leaf and one of the sliced onions. Combine the oil and Marc d’Alsace or brandy , and pour it over the hare. Turn the joints until well coated and set aside to marinate for 3 hrs.
Meanwhile, blanch the bacon in boiling water for a minute then drain and dry it. Melt half the butter in a frying pan and fry the bacon until golden. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Now add the baby onions to the butter and fry for 5 minutes to clolour them slightly. Remove and reserve. Similarly, fry the mushrooms in the butter for 2 mins, remove and reserve.
Melt the remaining butter in the frying pan and add the last two sliced onions and crushed garlic. Fry for 4 – 5 mins until golden. Add the flour and fry gently until golden, stirring constantly.
Drain the hare, reserving the marinade, and pat the joints dry with kitchen paper. Add the hare to the roux and cook, stirring constantly, until browned. Pour over the red wine and stock and stir thoroughly before adding the bouquet garni. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer gently for 1½ hours until tender.
Transfer the hare to a flameproof casserole and add the reserve bacon, baby onions and mushrooms. Now add the reserved marinade to the pan in which the hare was browned, stir well to deglaze and strain the contents into the casserole. Cover the casserole and cook in a preheated oven at 175°C, gas mark 4 for 1 hour. 10 mins before the end, chop the reserved liver, stir it into the casserole and continue cooking.
Remove the casserole from the oven and place it over moderate heat. Mix the reserved blood with the cream and stir it into the casserole. Cook gently for about 5 mins, stirring all the time and be careful not to let it boil or it will curdle!
Serve the hasenpfeffer garnished with parsley sprigs and accompanied by noodles.
Get a pdf version of this recipe
This one is entirely down to me. It is an attempt to create something of the hearty, warming Germanic food to be found in the alpine huts of the Austrian ski resorts without going to the elaborate lengths of a full blown Choucroute Garni . This is a one pot meal that requires no accompaniment other than, perhaps, some chilled hefe weizen or riesling.
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 6 oz smoked bacon lardons
- 2 pork chops
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 eating apple, cored, skinned and chopped
- 8 juniper berries, crushed
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp plain flour
- 1 small wineglass dry white wine (preferably Riesling)
- 1 “barrel” sauerkraut (approx 800g)
Empty the sauerkraut into a colander. If you prefer a milder flavour, rinse it to remove excess vinegar and drain it briefly. (Don’t squeeze it, we want a little moisture.)
Heat the oil over medium heat in a suitable casserole (which should have a tight-fitting lid). Fry the bacon lardons until the fat begins to run. While the bacon is cooking, remove any rind and bone from the pork chops and cut them into ½ inch chunks. When the bacon is browned and has released most of its fat, remove it from the pan and set aside.
Now add the pork chunks to the casserole and brown them evenly over quite high heat. While the pork is browning, skin, core and finely chop the apple. When the pork is browned, remove it from the pan and set aside with the bacon.
Now add the onion to the pan with a little more olive oil if necessary and fry until soft and translucent. Stir the apple into the onion and cook for another couple of minutes before returning the bacon and pork chunks to the pan. Toss in the crushed juniper berries, add the flour and stir. When the flour is incorporated, stir in the white wine and bring to simmering point.
Now lower the heat and stir the sauerkraut into the pan. Season with freshly ground black pepper and stir all the ingredients together. Cover and cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Adjust the seasoning – depending upon the bacon and the sauerkraut, you may or may not want to add a little salt.
Serve platefuls of this with glasses of hefe weizen.
Get a pdf version of this recipe