Roasted Saddle of Rabbit or Hare

(Serves 4)

Notes:

  1. Hares are larger than rabbits so one saddle of a hare will be reasonably sufficient for 4 people. If using rabbit and catering for large appetites and the meal is not accompanied by other courses then it would be sensible to use two saddles. The quantity of stuffing can be adjusted as appropriate.
  2. This recipe is only suitable for wild rabbit - the meat of farmed rabbit will have insufficient flavour to cope with the other ingredients.
  3. If using hare, marinade in a water/vinegar mixture (3:1) for about 3 hours before starting the dish. This will help to tenderise the meat.

    Ingredients:

    • hare or rabbit, wild (1), saddle
    • red wine, large glass (1)
    • butter or oil for basting
    • flour, brown
    • mustard seeds, freshly ground
    • stock, ( pint), chicken or light game

    • Stuffing:
    • breadcrumbs, dry (6oz)
    • onion, small (1), peeled and chopped finely
    • bacon, streaky (2oz), chopped finely
    • egg, (1), beaten
    • orange, small (1), grated rind and juice
    • thyme, fresh and chopped (1 tsp)
    • nutmeg, grated ( tsp, flat)
    • mustard seeds, freshly ground
    • butter or oil for frying

    Method:

    Stuffing:

    1. Fry bacon and onion gently in a little oil.
    2. Mix other ingredients with the breadcrumbs.
    3. Add the bacon and onion. If dry add some orange juice but do not make it too wet.

    Roasting:

    1. Clean saddle.
    2. Take a piece of aluminium foil large enough to wrap around the saddle. Oil the centre.
    3. Stuff the saddle and place stuffing side down on the oiled foil. Wrap the saddle with the foil and put on a roasting tray.
    4. Place in a pre-heated oven (Mark 4/250F/180C) and cook for 25 minutes.
    5. Open the foil and pour the red wine and remaining orange juice over the saddle. Close the foil and cook for a further 30 minutes.
    6. Open the foil and sprinkle with oil. Close the foil and cook for a further 35 minutes (Mark 6/400F/200C).
    7. Open the foil and check if the meat is almost cooked. If not, place back into oven until about 10 minutes off cooked.
    8. Then baste with the juices and sprinkle with flour.
    9. Leave uncovered and cook for a further 10 minutes to brown the saddle.
    10. Add any juices from the meat to the stock in a pan. Cover the saddle loosely and keep warm.
    11. Thicken the stock and juices with flour and add a good splash of red wine.

    Serve with mashed celeriac, carrots and brussel sprouts; red currant jelly and beetroot relish.

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