Cooking With Game

A forum for the cooking/preperation of all types of game from around the world.

    Lièvre à la royale.


    Posts : 955
    Join date : 2008-09-14
    Age : 57
    Location : Bridgwater, Somerset.

    Lièvre à la royale.

    Post  Admin on Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:31 pm

    Day 1

    Skinning and paunching
    Chop off the ends of the fore and hind legs. Cut through the skin around the waist. Pull off the bottom half of the pelt like a sock (1). Do the same with the top half, pulling it over the head. Chop off the tail.

    Slit open the paunch and remove the innards. Keep the liver, heart, kidneys and lungs, but discard the giblets.

    Note on "blood": If the animal has any blood inside the stomach, keep it for binding the sauce. If not, about 50g of liquidised liver can be used instead.

    "Carpet" boning
    The objective of this highly skilled task is to obtain a completely boned hare that can be formed into a ballotine shape. It may take 30 minutes or so at first, but with practice the time will be halved.

    Lay the skinned hare on one side. With a very sharp, pointed boning knife, start easing the flesh away from the ribs, keeping the knife edge against the bones. Loosen the fillet under the ribs. Free the rƒble (the saddle) without cutting through the sinew on the outside of the carcass. Cut along the lines of the hind-leg bones and free the meat. Do the same thing with the foreleg.

    At this stage you will have a half-boned hare. Turn it on to its second side and repeat the process. You should then be able to lift out the complete hare's skeleton in a single piece (2).

    Optional: split the skull and use the brain in the farce.

    Yield (after skinning)
    This will vary from animal to animal, but here is a good pointer to the ratios of meat to bone:

    Meat: 1.6kg
    Liver, heart, lungs and kidneys: 180g
    Skeleton and head: 600g
    Waste: 450g

    This will ultimately produce 10 main-course or 20 intermediate-course portions.

    Thierry Voisin prepares two hares at a time and the marinade quantities reflect this.

    300g chopped carrots
    200g chopped onion
    100g celery
    1 head of garlic, lightly crushed
    3 chopped tomatoes
    1 large bouquet garni
    Juniper berries to taste (about 12)
    6 litres Côtes du Rhône or similar wine

    Put the skeleton and the boned meat in a container (but not the liver, etc). Pour over the marinade ingredients and leave for 24 hours (3).

    Quantities here are for two hares.

    400g chopped fatty, pork belly or neck
    300g streaky bacon
    150g veal trimmings
    100g hare trimmings (scraped off the bones, ends of legs)
    250g mushrooms
    80g shallots
    30g bread, soaked in milk and squeezed
    140ml flamed Cognac

    100g foie gras purée
    100g rendered foie gras fat
    65ml truffle oil
    200g chopped truffles
    Liver, heart, kidneys and lungs
    2tbs chopped parsley
    2tbs chopped thyme
    3 eggs
    10g salt
    4g pepper
    3g allspice

    Mix all the ingredients together. Put them through the mincer (coarse blade) and reserve for 24 hours.

    Foie gras boudin

    Per hare
    400g foie gras
    Salt and pepper

    Knead foie gras into a single piece, lay on a sheet of baking parchment and roll out like a long sausage, about 30cm. Sprinkle generously with seasoning (4 and 5).

    Day 2

    Three sheets of barding fat and muslin large enough to wrap the ballotine, are essential for the next step - forming and trussing.

    Forming and trussing
    Take the hare out of the marinade and dry it carefully.
    Lay three overlapping strips of bard on the work surface and put the hare on top.
    Remove one loin. Split it open and insert a strip of bard as a basting. Split the second loin (that has been left in place).
    Cut partly into the leg meat and spread it so the ballotine will be of an even thickness. Season them lightly.
    Lay the fillets end to end so they form a channel of prime meat through the middle of the hare.

    Spread stuffing over the whole surface (about half the total amount given above) (6). Put the foie gras boudin on top and press down (7). Lift the sides of the hare and envelope the foie gras (Cool. Envelope the hare in the bard and tie neatly (9).

    Wrap the large trussed hare sausage tightly in muslin and knot or tie the ends (10).

    Barding fat
    Bard is the hard back-fat, sliced very finely, from large (usually bacon) pigs. For this recipe, you'll need three strips at least 50cm x 15cm for wrapping the hare and two thin strips 20cm long for putting inside the loins.

    Brown the chopped hare bones in a hot oven. Put them in a braising pan large enough to contain the hare ballotine. Pour over the marinade and one litre of veal stock. Boil, skim thoroughly and lower the hare into the liquid to cover it completely. Reduce the heat to 70°C and leave it to cook for 12 hours. Chill overnight.

    Day 3

    Vacuum cooking
    Remove the crust of fat on top of the cooking liquid.

    Take the hare out of the jellied liquid. Remove the muslin. Scrape off all traces of bard (most will have melted). Cut the strings. Slice the meat into 80g (approx) slices (11).

    Put two slices into a sous-vide (vacpack) container with one tablespoon of braising liquid (12). Optionally add one teaspoon of foie gras butter.

    Seal the packs and low-temperature cook them (steam or water bath) for four hours at 65°C.

    This finishes the preparation of the hare. It can be served at once or chilled and reheated. The sous-vide cooking ensures a shelf life of 21 days.

    Ensure that the braising liquid is fat-free. Boil and reduce by about two-thirds. Strain into a fresh pan and check seasoning.

    (To finish 500ml sauce - about enough for 10 portions)
    500ml reduced braising liquid

    50g butter [or foie gras butter]

    50ml liquidised hare blood or about 50g liquidised hare liver.

    Heat the sauce to 65°C maximum - if it's hotter, the blood will curdle. Montez with the butter and then whisk in the blood a little at a time to achieve a full-bodied coating texture. Add salt or pepper if necessary.

    Tip: A small square of bitter chocolate will give additional smoothness and shine to the sauce.

    Assembly and service
    For each serving, remove the two slices of hare from the packs, pour a cordon of hot sauce around them. Accompany with two quenelles of celeriac purée, three chestnuts cooked in a light stock and fresh cèpes sautéd in butter.

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