Jugged hare

(Recipe #134, pages 109 – 110)

Cut the forelegs and lower body of the hare into pieces; wash them thoroughly and rinse off any hairs that might have been left behind. Split the head and wash it along with the heart, liver, and lungs. If the meat is to be kept for a few days before being used, pour vinegar over it and turn it daily; do not try to keep until it becomes high, as so often happens.

When it is time to cook it, mix some pork fat with butter (for the sake of economy), lightly brown finely chopped onions, stirring frequently, then add a heaping tablespoon of flour. Then stir in enough boiling water to yield plenty of gravy, allowing for evaporation.

Add salt, a few ground cloves, a large pinch of pepper, a few bay leaves, a generous knob of butter, and as much of the marinade as necessary; add the meat and simmer it covered until done, taking care that it does not fall apart.. Then stir a spoon of pear syrup or a bit of sugar, and optionally a glass of claret, into the gravy.

If fresh blood from the hare is available, it will lend the gravy a pleasant flavor: mix it with some vinegar and when the hare is ready stir it into the gravy over heat (in this case, use only a little flour at the outset). The gravy must have a tart, sweet-sour flavor and be well bound though not too thick. Boiled potatoes are the most appropriate accompaniment.

Note: The blood must be mixed with vinegar at once when the hare is killed and set in a cool place for up to 3 days.

Translated by David Green.

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