At the Freemasons at Wiswell in Lancashire, Steven Smith has moved away from the one-pot approach of the classic hare recipe to create a delicate and flavourful dish.
Skinned and paunched, full-grown brown hares tip the scales at two to three kilos. Subtract the head, carcass and extremities, and there's less meat on them than on a chicken. The two loins that make up the saddle add up to a decent-sized steak.
Old English cookery books recommended hanging a hare for a long time before cooking. The time-honoured jugged hare dish is a stew simmered until the meat falls off the bones, and lièvre à la royale, one of the most honoured recipes of haute cuisine, has meat tender enough to eat with a spoon.
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