hare wellington – serves 4

a good use for the loins of hare when cooking the legs for my jugged hare pie

4 loins of hare
800g flat or field mushrooms
8 slices Parma ham
2 tsp peppercorns
2 tsp juniper berries
2 sheets of ready made puff pastry
4 egg yolks
olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 200c.

Heat some oil in a large pan and quickly seal the loins all over. Allow to cool.

Crush the peppercorns and juniper berries in a mortar and pestle. Alternatively quickly grind in a clean electric coffee mill

Spread the crushed spices on a sheet of baking paper

Roll the loins in the mixture to give a light coating. Don’t get this too thick

To make the duxelle, roughly chop the mushrooms and blend in a food processor to form a rough puree. Transfer the mixture into a hot, dry pan and allow the water to evaporate, stirring occasionally. set aside and cool.

Roll out a generous length of cling film, lay out two slices of Parma ham, slightly overlapping. With a pallet knife spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the ham about ½ cm thick.

Place a hare loin in the middle and keeping a tight hold of the cling film from the outside edge, roll the parma ham and mushrooms over the hare into a tight barrel shape. Twist the ends to secure the cling film. Refrigerate for 10 -15 minutes. This allows the Wellington to set and helps keep the shape.

Roll out the pastry quite thinly and cut to a size which will cover your hare. Unwrap the meat from the cling film. Egg wash the edge of the pastry and place the beef in the middle. Roll up the pastry, cut any excess off the ends and fold neatly to the 'underside'.

Turnover and egg wash over the top. Chill again to let the pastry cool, approximately 5 minutes. Egg wash again before baking at 200c for 15 - 20 minutes. Rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Serve with some pomme purree, quick red wine sauce