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Jugged hare

This is a simple, country version of the classic jugged hare. If the hare is hung and drawn at home, the blood may be collected and used in the gravy to thicken it and give it colour and goodness. You can also ask the butcher to keep the blood for you. Be careful to keep the blood fresh by storing it
in the refrigerator as it is collected - it does not keep well. Serve with deep-fried Veal forcemeat balls, redcurrant or blackcurrant jelly, and Jacket baked potatoes.

ingredients

serves 4
Beef dripping for frying
1 hare, jointed
Flour for coating
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dry cider or water to cover
Blood from hare (if available)
2 medium-sized onions, peeled and stuck with a few cloves
1 bouquet garni

method

1. Melt a knob of dripping in a large flameproof casserole. Coat the hare joints in flour seasoned with salt and pepper and fry in the dripping until browned on all sides. Stir in cider or water to cover, or a mixture of both.

2. If using the blood, add it now. Bring to the boil, then put in the onions and bouquet garni. Cover, transfer to a warm oven (160°C/325°F or Gas Mark 3) and cook for 3 to 4 hours or until the hare is tender when pierced with a skewer. The cooking time will vary depending on the age of the hare.

3. Remove the joints and onions from the casserole. Discard the bouquet garni. Take the meat off the bones, discard the cloves from the onions and break the onions into slices.

4. Return the hare and onions to the casserole to heat through. Adjust seasoning and serve straight from the casserole.

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