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Barbecued Hare with Mustard Sauce

wild hare with mustard sauce

This recipe is intended for hares or jackrabbits, but it can be used with domestic rabbits or cottontails — just be sure to decrease the cooking time by about 30 minutes. Barbecuing is a perfect choice for jacks, which while flavorful can be tough. This recipe turned the hare into a tender, falling-off-the-bone plate of yummy goodness. And the mustard sauce is spicy-sweet-savory all at the same time.

A word on the rue. If you cannot find it, this sauce will still be fine. But if you know someone who grows it, by all means use this wonderful-smelling bitter herb. There is no substitute.

Serves 4

  • 1 jackrabbit or domestic rabbit, or 2 cottontails
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced thickly
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 jalapeno chile, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 of a grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, about 3 inches long
  • 1 sprig of rue, about 2 inches long
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Rub the hare with olive oil and salt.
  2. In a heavy pot, add the 1/4 cup olive oil and saute the onions and chile over medium-high heat until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the yellow mustard, white wine, cider vinegar, honey, sugar, dry mustard and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.
  4. Add the herbs and the bay leaves and simmer slowly.
  5. Grill or sear the hare pieces until nicely browned.
  6. Meanwhile, set in a shallow pot (a Spanish cazuela works well) the sliced sweet onion and, as the hare pieces brown up, nestle them into the onion. When the hare is all seared, pour in the mustard sauce and mix well.
  7. Cover the pot — but leave open a way for steam to escape — and simmer over the grill set on low heat (or close the vents on a charcoal grill) for at least 1 hour, 15 minutes. You want it to simmer strongly, not be at a rolling boil. Slower cooking is better than faster cooking.
  8. Cook until the meat begins to fall from the bones. This could take up to 2 hours.
  9. Set the pot aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  10. Eat with a loaf of crusty bread, a simple salad and either a light red wine or a fruity white wine.

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One response to “Barbecued Hare with Mustard Sauce”

  1. Procyan

    Very good indeed. I cooked this up for evening supper. First the house started smelling pretty good, then we ate it and all agree its a winner. No rue, but we’ll find some for next time. Thanks!

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