Hare pie with sweet potato, carrots and cabbage
The pie filling is prepared in advance and refrigerated, so that baking and serving the pie takes no more than 20 minutes – ideal for a home cook with limited time. In order to minimise wastage we’ve used the hare legs, assuming the saddle and loin are needed for another dish. Hare meat is darker and gamier than rabbit with a distinctive flavour which is more akin to venison. Hare is a treat to eat and should be prepared with care so as not to dry it out.
- 4 hare legs
- 4 tbsp rock salt
- 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 600 ml vegetable oil
- 4 large pork sausage filling
- 40 grams pistachio nuts chopped
- 4 large prunes chopped
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped
- 1 measure brandy
- 8 slices Parma ham
- 250 grams ready-made puff pastry
- 1 beaten egg
- Start by making a confit of hare. Place the hare legs in rock salt and black pepper overnight. Next day wipe off the seasoning and place the legs in a thick bottomed saucepan. Cover with vegetable oil and poach on a slow heat for 2 ½ to 3 hours until the meat starts to fall of the bone.
- Remove from the oil and pick the meat off the bone. Mix with the forcemeat from the sausages, pistachios, prunes, parsley and a splash of brandy. Season with salt and pepper. Shape the meat into four ‘burgers’.
- To make each pie, line a large ladle with overlapping cling film. Lay a slice of Parma ham on top of the cling film, then place a burger in the ladle and fold the ham up round it. Finally wrap the cling film round each filling and transfer to the fridge to ‘set’.
- For the crust lightly roll the puff pastry and cut into four squares. Brush each pastry square with beaten egg and place the pie filling in the centre. Fold over the corners and shape by hand as in the picture. Dust off any excess flour and brush with beaten egg. Use a sharp knife to score the top into segments from the centre with a sharp knife and bake in a preheated over for about 15 minutes at 200°C.
- We used diced sweet potato and carrot as accompaniments but parsnip, turnip, artichoke or swede would do just as well. Melt a knob of butter in a pan, sweat the diced vegetables, then add half a cup of boiling water and cook for three to four minutes. Finally add chopped cabbage and sage. Cover and steam until the cabbage is tender. This should take no more than eight minutes or so.
- Serving suggestion: mashed potato with parsley and gravy from a reduction of game stock