Sunday, February 24, 2008
North Fife Foods Jugged Hare
I was given The River Cottage Cookbook as a Christmas present and can wholeheartedly recommend it.
Although it calls itself a cookbook and does contain a large number of fine recipes, the book's scope is much broader. Really, this is more like one of those Enquire Within on Everything volumes 19th-century settlers used to take to the outback with them, full of instructions for mixing whitewash, worming dogs and making a bag pudding. Starting with vegetables, proceeding to livestock and fish (River Cottage does indeed have a river and is only five miles from the sea) and concluding with the wild food, floral and faunal, of the hedgerow, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall explains how he grows, gathers, kills and cooks his own food.
There is a lot of information here, and a lot of hard reality, too: he is very clear and forthright about the place of death in this kind of life. But then this is a very clear and forthright book overall, a very engaging and really quite inspirational manual of how to live the country life so many of us dream about. It's well-illustrated, too, with Simon Wheeler's fine photographs of Hugh at work chasing chickens, skinning eels, carrying piglets and so on. The food in the River Cottage kitchen looks wonderful, too, though the photo of a cod-head glaring resentfully from under a beehive of parsley in a stock pot carries many more resonances than it is possible to summarise here.The River Cottage Cookbook .
North Fife Foods Jugged Hare as directed by the recipe in this splendid production
On the worktop lay the hare destined to become skinned, sectioned and jugged provided by a local game dealer in exchange for a large vodka and coke.
Taken from The Riverside Cookbook I followed this recipe. A slight variation occurred, the addition of savoy cabbage, brown mushrooms and more wine due to my imbibing and forgetting to cover the browned meet with water instead. One Hare filled two casserole dishes and we ate the second today with water added, even better.
A few days ago I purchased a bottle of Andrew Peace wine from my local Co-op store to try. I was so impressed by the quality that the next day bought another six and used one plus to cook the hare and drink with the meal. The meal was a stunner and no doubt helped by the wine quality. Further investigation of the label shows the web address, www.apwines.com which is worth a look, where one is well informed and there is a competition that could enrich any wine lover.
North Fife History. Cupar: A History History of North Fife Cupar. North Fife Property. Tour Scotland. North Fife Maps. St.Andrews and East Fife: Cupar, Anstruther and Crail (Explorer) Rent a Cottage in North Fife Scotland.
Rodney has left a new comment on your post "North Fife Foods Jugged Hare":
This brought back many memories. My father and grandfather were keen shooting men and I recall many a jugged hare cooked by my grandmother.
I was groomed to follow in their footsteps, but the tide turned when I saw a hare injured on a shoot and crying like a human baby.
I receive many messages from the public saying how much they enjoy seeing these delightful denizens of the countryside and several have described the experience as a "privilege"
The brown hare has suffered at least an 80% population decline during the past century and has a Species Action Plan to double numbers by the year 2010.
So it is a pity you can't find more constructive ways of enjoying hares than eating them.
Chairman - Hare Preservation Trust
Thanks for your comment, I know what you mean, in fact more than most you are pushing at an open door. I abhor the gratuitous killing of living creatures for pleasure. Now, It was dead when offered, given the injury, the hare died instantly and it provided three hearty, healthy meals for a family of four. It is a sad fact that something will die that others may live. Even the production of a field of grain results in the death of thousands of insects and other organisms, we are in a food chain. As a family we benefit from road kills but even here we deprive raptors of food, such is life. As an individual I am pragmatic and make full use of what may come along. I am sure the hare had a good life, natural and unadulterated and for that I am truly grateful.