Peppered smoked hare with Jerusalem artichoke, winter pesto and bramble dressing

  • Starter
  • medium
  • 4
  • 1 hour 15 minutes, plus smoking time and 48 hours to cure and marinate the hare



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Jerusalem artichokes

Bramble pickle

  • 100g of blackberries, elderberries, blackcurrants and raspberries, mixed together
  • 100ml of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar

Winter pesto

Begin 48 hours before cooking. Place the juniper berries, bay and cinnamon stick in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind to a fine powder then mix with the salt. Rub the cure all over the hare and leave to cure in the fridge for 24 hours
After 24 hours, pat down the hare and wipe off the cure. Make a second marinade by blending the ingredients together then rub all over the hare and leave to marinade for a further 24 hours
You can prepare the artichoke a day ahead of time too, as the skin takes 2 hours to dehydrate. To make the Jerusalem artichoke purée, preheat the oven to 140°C/gas mark 1. Place the artichokes in a tray and sprinkle with sea salt and a drizzle of oil and bake until soft
Once soft (and while still hot) slice lengthways and carefully scoop out the flesh into a small food processor. Add the butter, a pinch of nutmeg and salt to taste and blend to a smooth purée. Keep warm or reheat just before serving
Place the skins in a dehydrator or oven set to 80°C and dry out for 2 hours. Once dried out you can then deep fry them at 180°C until crisp and golden if you wish. Leave to drain on absorbent paper and sprinkle with salt
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying (optional)
To make the bramble pickle dressing, bring the vinegar to a simmer, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the berries and take off the heat. Set aside for at least 2 hours
  • 100ml of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 100g of blackberries, elderberries, blackcurrants and raspberries, mixed together
To make the winter pesto, place the herbs, cheese, nuts and capers in a mortar and pestle and grind to a paste. Once you have a coarse paste, stir in the oil. Taste and season
Set up a smoker to 100°C then add the hare. Smoke until the loins reach 58°C-60°C. Leave to rest before removing the loins from the hare and carving. You can use the rest of the hare in other dishes, but you'll only need the loins for this recipe
To plate, add slices of the rested loin and dress with the bramble pickle dressing and some of the green oil from the winter pesto. Serve with a quenelle of the pesto and some Jerusalem artichoke purée topped with a piece of crisp skin
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