About this recipe:Rabbit and hare are both low-fat, high-protein meats. Both are rich in iron, B vitamins and phosphorus. Rabbit meat is pale and mild, whereas hare is dark and strong, and needs to be cooked for longer, in plenty of liquid.
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 hare, jointed, or 6 hare joints, about 1kg (2lb 4oz) in total
4 slices of streaky bacon, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Finely grated zest of ½ unwaxed lemon
1 sprig each of thyme and marjoram
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and black pepper
350ml (12fl oz) red wine
For the dumplings
400g (14oz) cold mashed potato
60g (2¼ oz) plain flour
35g (1¼ oz) semolina
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 small egg, beaten
2 teaspoons cornflour
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Method Prep:25min › Cook:3hr › Ready in:3hr25min
Heat the oven to 150°C (300°F, gas mark 2). Heat the oil in a large, flameproof casserole, add the hare and cook quickly to brown on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Remove from the pan. Add the bacon and cook for 2 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes.
Add the browned hare, garlic, citrus zest and juice, herbs, cloves, nutmeg, salt, pepper and 300ml (½ pint) of the wine. Bring to the boil and cover. Transfer to the oven and cook for 2-2½ hours.
Meanwhile, mix the potato, flour, semolina, half the parsley, some salt and pepper and enough egg to make a firm dough. Shape into 18 small balls.
In a bowl, mix the cornflour with the remaining wine. Remove the casserole from the oven and place over a moderate heat. Stir in the cornflour and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the dumplings to the casserole, cover and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley and serve.