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44 responses to “Hare Stew, Hard Times”

  1. Holly Heyser

    I’ve got to say that this stew was insanely delicious – I could’ve eaten it all in one sitting. I will defintely be pestering Hank to make this again and again. Lord, I might even have to learn to make it myself!

  2. suburbanbushwacker

    Hank
    I’m a huge fan of Hare which even in old blighty is quite hard to come by. I have a local specimen hidden in my mum’s freezer, but the last one i was able to buy came from Canada. It was cooked with pork ribs, red onions and very old plum jam for about 3 hours. I was thinking of doing this one as two meals: a stew (your stew having read this post) and the saddle served as a rack with the ribs still attached.

    Traditionally they were run down by Lurchers (mutts that are part greyhound) but that’s been curtailed by the current government. Now they’re flushed and taken with .22 rimfire or shotgun.

    Keep well
    SBW

  3. Nathan

    When I first started hunting, my red tailed hawk caught a blacktailed jack in early summer. While removing the tenderloins (with every intention of eating it) I found some of the most disgusting muscle cysts I’d ever encountered. Keep in mind that I do NOT have a weak stomach!

    I envy your ability to eat that beautiful stew…after that experience, I’ll never be able to eat hare! Oh well…

  4. Phil

    I love eating rabbit, but I don’t believe I’ve ever had wild hare. Most of the rabbits I’ve had were purchased from a meat market, more than likely farm-raised. And for all of the times I prepared it (my wife would have none of it) I never thought to braise the meat. I’ve always grilled or cold smoked it, which resulted in tough meat – but still very tasty.

    Your stew looks delicious, and I can almost taste it – the photos are that fantastic. This really is humble food; my favorite, and it’s so timely. It’s cold everywhere, and nothing tastes better right now than a hearty stew like this. And thanks for the tip on detecting tularemia. Not only did I not know what it was called, I had no idea how to tell if the animal was infected, and now I know it’s as easy as viewing the liver of the animal.

    Hank, I have to say that I love your blog more and more, and I can’t wait to read your book. While I seem to be inundated with blog after blog filled with restaurant reviews (written mostly by kids that can’t cook), it’s refreshing to read well-written pieces by a true chef, accompanied by photography from someone who really appreciates the food so much that she brings the food to life.

    Thanks again for your blog, Hank.

  5. deana@lostpastremembered

    Too bad I just stopped by D’Artagnan… the stew looks too amazing… I just saved the recipe!!!

  6. Tovar Cerulli

    Inspiring, as always, Hank! Thanks!

    Hare (though snowshoe, not jack) was the first wild meat I brought home after converting back from vegetarianism. I was fortunate to be able to track and kill a couple of them within 100 yards of the house here in Vermont, using a .22. I was fortunate to have them, too, because it took me a few years to start achieving success with deer.

    I looked over your “rabbit, hare, and squirrel” recipe page and will return there for inspiration next time I get a snowshoe. I may point my uncle there, too. He hunts a lot of grey squirrel–plus a few cottontails–in Massachusetts. Here, the only squirrels we have are the tiny red rascals.

  7. Jessica Lee Binder

    I had no idea. I always thought hare was just another word for rabbit. (Can I be excused? I was born and raised in NYC.)

  8. Josh

    Looks good, and it’s nice that a hunt I organized for y’all actually resulted in meat. I like jacks, I think they taste good – a young jack tastes better, even, than cottontails.

    I’m wondering, would mutton work in this stew, too? It’s a bit older, and I love mutton.

  9. Josh

    Also, Holly, I really want to gnaw on that picture of bones. Great shot!

  10. Leni the Cook

    What a cool blast from the past! 35 years ago when my husband and I lived in NE South Dakota our first winter together we hunted and ate ‘big jack’ as they are called in that part of the country. So easy to hunt, clean, cook! And they dressed out at 12-14 lbs, a wonderful free bounty to feed a family of four. We loved the rich meat and I cooked it all the ways you can think of, ground, braised, roasted, stewed! Here in Central Virginia we rely on venison to fill the gap.

  11. Dan

    I love hare although I have never had Jackrabbits. Here in Newfoundland we have the snowshoe hare and I have also eaten the Arctic hare. I have a full moose this winter but eat hares at least once a week and truly love to do so. I am getting a little more adventurous in my cooking. This is a new thing for me. I am looking forward to trying this thanks.
    regards
    dan

  12. Hubert Hubert

    Well, I envy you! Hares, as SBW has said, are fairly scarce in England – I’ve certainly never seen a hair of one in the year I’ve spent sat under hedges in nearby fields after rabbits – but the flavour is renowned; Jugged Hare (cooked in its own blood!) is a traditional dish over here but one – outside of high-end restaurants – you never get to eat. Here too, rabbits are seen as being somewhat beyond the realm of the edible – though this practically means that because they don’t get sold in Tesco no one thinks of them as food. Good luck with hunting ‘em and see how you get on with cured hare that can be easily posted to the UK!

  13. Matt Ames

    Hank,
    Do you remember me telling you about my ex-brother-in-law who bought the vineyard outside of Lodi? Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I’ll call him up and ask him if he’s got jackrabbits out there that we can hunt. I’ll let you know. When I was in high school I used to snipe jacks with a .22 along the railroad tracks near some vineyards in Lodi. Good fun!

    Matt

  14. Holly Heyser

    Matt, I don’t know if Hank is ready to hunt quite yet … but I am! When he informed me that this stew used that last of our jack, I immediately thought it was time to go hunting again…

  15. Hubert Hubert

    There are very few in the England, I think, almost none in the South. This from the UK Hare preservation Trust: “During the late 1800s there were about four million brown hares in Britain. But recent surveys show the brown hare has declined by more than 80% during the past 100 years and the decline is ongoing. In some parts of Britain, such as the South-West, the brown hare is almost a rarity and may even be locally extinct.

    The reasons for this decline are not entirely clear, but intensification of agriculture has certainly been a major factor. Hares do not hibernate or store appreciable amounts of fat in their bodies and so need a constant food supply throughout the year. This can only be provided by landscapes rich in biodiversity. Their ancestral homes of past aeons provided a diversity of grass and herb species maturing in succession throughout the year.

    Agricultural landscapes, including traditional hay meadows and crops grown in rotation, provided similar diversity in relatively recent times. But 95% of hay meadows have been lost since the Second World War. Hay making has largely been replaced by silage production which is more profitable and less dependent upon weather conditions. Grassland for silage production tends to be sown to a single species, resulting in landscapes poor in biodiversity. This might explain why hares are now particularly scarce in western areas where dairy farming predominates. They now fare better in the arable areas of the east, giving a marked east-west divide in their national population.”

    http://www.hare-preservation-trust.co.uk/status.html

    HH

  16. Karen

    Hubby brought home 5 rabbits and a snowshoe a few weeks ago. I must admit, I am somewhat intimidated by them when it comes to cooking them… not eating them, just cooking them. Have looked over some of your recipes for rabbit, for some strange reason, I just can’t bring myself to thaw one of those rabbits! Crazy. I’m going to make rabbit our Valentine meal… stay tuned. Love your blog and can’t wait for your book!

  17. Bpaul

    I have a freezer full of mid-winter SE Oregon jacks and I can’t wait to get cooking them. I really enjoy the open-mindedness in this blog and its friends regarding what some consider “trash” meats: jackrabbit, pigeon, etc.

    I airgun hunt organic farm rabbit ‘pests,’ and shotgun hunt jacks, I intend to use both means for farm pigeon as well. Can’t wait to try out some of these recipies.

    You have a new subscriber. Thanks for your work,

    Bp

  18. Matt Mullenix

    Hey there

    Noticed another falconer chimed in above. I’d like to add that, although I eat all the rabbits my hawks catch, I had never tried jack until this year. We brought a couple back from a trip to Amarillo, TX (no jacks in Louisiana) and put them in the gumbo. Gumbo was great. Some pics from the trip: http://stephenbodio.blogspot.com/2009/11/amarillo-2009.html

  19. Jim

    Actually eating too much corn isn’t the cause of Pellagra;
    A diet lacking in Niacin is the cause. Corn
    is not a good source of Niacin, so relying
    on corn as a staple without obtaining Niacin
    from some other food will cause Pellagra.
    I seem to remember though that processing
    corn into Hominy releases what Niacin corn contains.

  20. Karen

    The recipe was great and yes, I figured I used lots more saffron than you did. Well, you said a “generous pinch” and I’m a very generous person! ;) Made this recipe with only the Cottontail. We’re going to have to invite people over when I cook the Snowshoe… the thing is huge!

  21. Bpaul

    So those jacks I mentioned bagging last month? My hunting partner and his wife used variations of your recipe here and cooked them up. They raved and raved about the food, and his wife is even a bit squeamish/sensitive to ‘gaminess’ and she couldn’t get enough of it.

    I’m psyched. Can’t wait to get some in the pot myself.

    Bp

  22. Cork Graham

    Wheeew! Hank, I was all bummed, like every year at this time, when my favored, tender, white-meated cottontail rabbit season ends.

    …Now, I can get more practice with my .22 pellet gun. Sure beats the last attempt at softening tough jacks with a hassenpfeffer recipe almost 25 years ago!

    Cheers,
    Cork

  23. James Caldwell

    Wow … great blog. I stumbled across your blog a while ago, lost it and just found it again. I love the Jackrabbit stuff. Check out my own blog with recent posts about hunting and cooking jackrabbits. http://oldgunkie.blogspot.com
    I recently made a Jackrabbit terrine based on a recipe from Reynaud’s book. Looks like I need to go kill another couple to try out your great looking recipes.

    Best,
    Jim

  24. Beth

    I’ve never had hare but would like to try it!

  25. Soozcat

    Growing up in Utah around several inveterate hunters, I had the chance to sample plenty of elk roasts, deer jerky and home-cooked venison stew–but I’ve never tasted jackrabbit. Your description and photos make it sound positively scrummy… wondering now whether I should encourage my brother to take a pot shot at a few jacks the next time he’s out in the West Desert.

  26. Courtney

    Your post prompted me to order some Scottish hare from D’Artagnan. It came, and it was skinned, but still had all its viscera. Wow. I stewed it, simply, with a bit of brandy and hot mustard. The whole house smelled wonderful — a sour note of gaminess with the same sharp overlay of iron you get from organ meat. We each had a let, and I’ve saved the organs for breakfast tomorrow. What an amazing thing. Thanks, guys!

  27. Graham

    Hank,
    I just stumbled on your blog. I love everything I’ve read. This entry is an especially good one. I live in Arizona. My friend and I go hunting for various species. Most recently, during Quail and Dove season we found ourselves catching nearly as many rabbits as we did birds. We caught both Cottontails, and Jack Rabbits. One of the big advantages I found is it’s size. You get nearly twice the meat off a Jack rabbit that you do off a Cottontail.

    Love what you’ve got here. Added it to Google Reader. Can’t wait to see more.

  28. not for vegetarians « Kati's blog

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  29. Josh G

    Hey Hank,

    Tried this tonight and it was amazing. I have to say, I was skeptical of your instructions to use only water instead of wine or stock, but the final result was as flavourful as promised.

    Used a whole farmed rabbit and the only tweak to the recipe was the inclusion of the zest of 1/2 a lemon to the stewing liquid. Served over Israeli couscous.

    Great, simple recipe.

    Josh

  30. Debbie Curtis

    Thanks for the great recipe. We made it last night with a snowshoe hare. FANTASTIC! I’ll definitely be trying out some others on here soon.

    The photos are really what got me to try it. Good job.

  31. Robert Grossklaus

    Finally made this tonight with a couple of jackrabbit I shot up in Lassen. So good!! My wife loved it too! She likened it to pork shoulder. Thanks for the recipe, Hank!

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  35. Ngaire

    Hi there. I live in NZ and we have a native bird called a Pukeko(which is also a pest-very prolific) and my hubby cooked it up tonight using this recipe. Before he cooked it, I was scoffing and more or less saying “there ain’t no way in hell I’m eating that” to now saying….mmmmmmm bloody delicious:) Great recipe, am looking forward to him cooking it with duck or Canadian goose!

  36. The Big Field Trip

    Looks delicious and similar to a dish called “feijoada” that we learned when living in Portugal. Feijoada is a white bean stew and is also made with rabbit. Let us know what you think of the recipe: http://thebigfieldtrip.com/recipes_portugal_feijoada.html

  37. Karin Gamba

    Looks wonderful! I have 8 squirrels in the freezer taking up too much room. Do you think this recipe would work for squirrels? I made the squirrel aurora recipe and it was wonderful. The “lusty” sauce has me intrigued.

  38. Pieter

    Hare must be one of my favourite meats. In season (which is right now)they’re usually available at markets and specialised meat/game shops here in The Netherlands. And even though hares are a common sight in our meadowlands, they’re no poverty food.(we’re no hunting country) In fact I paid €15 for two legs this past weekend. I usually prepare them in stews with red wine or dark beer, but this recipe sounds delicious. Will definately try this.

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