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

4
1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Hare

  • 2 juniper berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 15g of salt
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 hare, skinned, offal removed and silver skin removed from the outer loins

Marinade

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 1 dash of olive oil
  • 50ml of port
  • 100g of wholegrain mustard
  • 100g of black peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • 1 pinch of salt

Jerusalem artichokes

  • 200g of Jerusalem artichoke
  • olive oil
  • 60g of unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • sea salt
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying (optional)

Bramble pickle

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

Winter pesto

  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1 handful of parsley leaves
  • 50g of Parmesan, or similar hard cheese
  • 100g of blanched hazelnuts, toasted
  • 25g of capers, or pickled wild garlic capers if you can find them
  • 75ml of olive oil, best quality
  • salt
  • pepper

Method

1
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
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 15g of salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 1 hare, skinned, offal removed and silver skin removed from the outer loins
2
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
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 1 dash of olive oil
  • 50ml of port
  • 100g of wholegrain mustard
  • 100g of black peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • 1 pinch of salt
3
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
  • 200g of Jerusalem artichoke
  • olive oil
4
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
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 60g of unsalted butter
  • sea salt
5
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)
6
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
7
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
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1 handful of parsley leaves
  • 50g of Parmesan, or similar hard cheese
  • 100g of blanched hazelnuts, toasted
  • 75ml of olive oil, best quality
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 25g of capers, or pickled wild garlic capers if you can find them
8
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
9
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