Ricetta 23 - Hare à la Royale - Colette's kitchen delights - by Graziella Martina

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           Hare à la Royale
(serves 8)

1  hare of about 4kg in weight
12  slices of lard
60  cloves of garlic
40  peeled shallots
2  carrots
1  bunch of mixed herbs
1  stick of celery

1  sage leaf
10  peppercorns
6  juniper berries
2  cloves
4  bottles of vintage Borgogna wine
10cl hare's blood
50g  butter
Cover a deep casserole dish with some of the slices of lard. Place on one side the hare with its kidneys, heart, liver and lungs removed, which must be kept to one side to be used later. Arrange the cloves of garlic, nearly all the shallots, diced carrots, the bunch of herbs with the tuft off the celery and the sage leaf all around the hare. Season with pepper, juniper and the clove.
    Cover the hare with the remaining slices of lard and moisten it with plenty of wine. Let it boil gently and flambé to burn the alcohol. Leave it to cook for 6 hours in an oven at 160°.
    Towards the end of the cooking time, chop up the kidneys, liver and heart, add the remaining shallots and a little wine. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the hare on a flat plate and cover it with a damp cheesecloth, so that a crust forms.
    Strain the sauce, pressing hard on the garlic and the shallot, to squeeze out the juices and leave it to stand.
    Heat up some of this sauce, in which the chopped offal has been added, without bringing it to the boil. Heat the hare up in the remaining sauce. Mix the two sauces, only when it is time to serve the dish.
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