Origin: northern hemisphere

Etymology: from the Old English hara.

Leporidae family. The hare belongs to the group of small furred game.

The hare is a small mammal that is distinguished from the rabbit by its big ears, long highly-developed hind legs that give it great speed, and its larger, slenderer body.

It can measure up to 75 cm in length and weigh between 3.5 and 6 kg. The numerous attempts to domesticate it have been unsuccessful.


Hare is almost always sold skinned and cleaned, either whole or cut up. The following pieces are available on the market: loin, back, saddle (the two parts of the loin with the rump). Choose young hares, weighing no more than 3 kg, for stews, braises and sautéed saddle. Use larger hares for terrines and pâtés.

A good hare will have flexible front legs.

When buying, allow 350 g (12 oz.) per person.


When well wrapped, hare (wild rabbit) will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator.

It can be frozen for up to seven months, ideally vacuum-packed; otherwise the flavor will deteriorate. Thaw slowly, in the refrigerator.


If necessary, remove the heart and liver, taking care to remove the gall.

Collect the blood and conserve it with a little aged vinegar.

Forget about traditional marinades and hanging the meat to age. Be daring!

Rub the meat with a little aged rum; coat with spices (juniper, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, black pepper) and leave in a dish, simply drizzled with oil. Marinades containing an acidic element tend to break down the flesh and make it bland.


In most recipes, the hare is barded or little pieces of fat are stuck into it to keep it from drying out. The legs always require a longer cooking time; therefore it’s advisable to cut the animal up before cooking it. The tenderloin is cut from the back.

Braised in red wine
Bone the animal completely. Prepare it country-style by adding some small cubes of bacon sautéed with onions. This makes a nice simple first course for fall, served with sautéed ceps (porcini).


Roast Hare with Gingerbread
Bone the hare (saddle and hind legs). Rub with cracked pepper and thyme. Brush with oil and Dijon mustard. Cover and let rest in a cool place for several hours. Roast in a 225° C / 450° F oven. Reduce 1 liter (4 cups) of hare, game or veal stock by half with 6 slices of gingerbread. Liquefy in a blender, then strain to obtain a creamy smooth texture. Mix in 1 tbsp. each of red currant jelly and cognac.

Nutritional value per 100 g cooked hare

Calories : 192
Carbohydrates : 0
Fat : 8 g
Proteins : 30 g
Sodium : 40 mg
Rich in calcium and iron


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