Hare is a beautiful meat, well worth seeking out at your local butchers for its deep gamey flavour. Kevin Mangeolles serves it with bitter chocolate and rich creamed celeriac for a perfect winter meal. If preferred, you can make a hare stock for the beer-braised haunches to give an extra rich finish.
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Preheat a water bath to 85°C
To begin, prepare the braised hare haunches. Sweat down the onion in a dash of oil in a small pan until softened. Leave to cool then add to a vacuum bag with the hare thighs, beer, juniper, garlic and thyme. Seal in a chamber sealer and cook in the water bath for 5 hours
300ml of chocolate beer
6 juniper berries, crushed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 sprig of thyme
4 hare legs
1 onion, sliced
1 dash of oil
Remove the thighs from the bag and strain the juices into a pan. Add the stock, reduce to a sauce consistency and stir in the chocolate. Pick the meat from the bone in large pieces and add to the sauce. Keep warm
50g of bitter chocolate
500ml of brown chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2
To make the thyme pastry, mix the flour and butter until you reach a fine sandy texture, then add the water, thyme leaves and egg yolk. Mix until you have a smooth dough
200g of plain flour
200g of salted butter
1 tbsp of water
1 egg yolk
4 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
Roll the dough out until 1/2cm in thickness and cut out four 10cm circles. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes
For the creamed celeriac, grate the celeriac and transfer to a pan with the melted butter. Cook until softened, add the cream and reduce until you have a thick creamy consistency. Add the mustard and season with salt
100g of butter, melted
300g of whipping cream
2 tbsp of grain mustard
Preheat the water bath to 60°C
Trim any sinew from the saddles and place into a vacuum bag with a sprig of thyme, salt and a dash of oil. Seal and cook in the water bath for 15 minutes
Roughly chop the cabbage and blanch the leaves in boiling salted water for 1 minute before refreshing in iced water. To serve, heat a saucepan over a medium heat with a knob of butter and warm the cabbage through
1 pointed cabbage
1 knob of butter
Remove the hare loin from the bag and drain on kitchen paper. Heat a frying pan over a high heat and sear the hare loin until caramelised. Leave to rest for a few minutes then carve lengthways to serve
To plate, place a pastry circle on the plate and spoon some creamed celeriac on top. Cover with the loin and arrange some buttered cabbage and the braised haunch around the outside of the tart. Finish with a little grated bitter chocolate and serve
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