By: Sue Lawrence
Scots Cooking (Headline, £18.99)
EVERY Christmas, my father and his brother and sisters went to their grandmother - my great-Granny Anderson - for hare soup. Since she had been in service in one of the big estates in Angus, she was an expert in dealing with game. Her hare soup ( "bawd bree" in Scots) was the family's Christmas meal every year at her Dundee home (no turkey in those days) and my aunts can still remember the tiny chunks of hare throughout the soup and its rich, gamey flavour. My father can simply remember it was not his favourite; that's because it was not mince and tatties.
A dollop of cranberry sauce or redcurrant jelly stirred into the soup just before serving is by no means authentic, but does contrast beautifully with the rich game flavour.
1 hare, skinned, cleaned, cut into pieces
40g / 1½ oz seasoned flour
60g / 2½ oz butter
2 large onions, peeled, chopped
75g / 3 oz unsmoked streaky bacon, chopped
3 - 4 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 - 3 sprigs of parsley
2 - 3 sprigs of thyme
1.5 litres / 2½ pints beef stock, hot
50ml / 2 fl oz port
- My butcher advises washing the hare pieces in salt, rinsing thoroughly and drying before cooking.
- Dip the hare in the flour and brown all over in 40g / 1½ oz butter in a solid pan. (You will need to do this in batches.) Remove and gently fry the onions and bacon in the remaining butter for about 10 minutes then add the carrots and celery. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes then add the herbs, hot stock and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, skim if necessary, cover and simmer gently for about 2 hours (an older, tougher hare will need longer - about 3 hours.)
- Remove the hare pieces and, once cool enough to handle, tear the meat into small pieces. Liquidise the soup - in batches - and return to the soup pan with the meat. Stir in the port, reheat, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Once it is hot, check if it needs any extra port - a final splash would not go amiss.
© recipe copyright 2000 Sue Lawrence
Author: Sue Lawrence Email: