Hare Wellington

Hambleton Hall, Rutland

Puff pastry
4 hare loins
1 chicken breast
2 whole eggs
2tbs armagnac
50ml olive oil
30 raisins soaked in balsamic vinegar
40 pistachio nuts
4 thin pancakes


Serves 4

This, surprisingly, is one of our best selling dishes at Hambleton Hall. The most important thing when making this dish is to have fresh hare otherwise the taste is too strong and vulgar. The pancake and the farce are not unnecessary complications. They are there to soak up the juices released during the cooking, and to ensure that the pastry does not become soggy.

Roll out the puff pastry 2mm thick, 18cm long and 15cm wide and rest in the fridge. Make four pancakes and place in the fridge.

Trim the hare loins. Dice and transfer the chicken breast to the processor together with the eggs and any lean hare trimmings. Add the armagnac and blend until smooth, slowly adding the olive oil. Turn out into a stainless steel bowl and mix in the drained raisins and pistachios. Season with salt and pepper.

Roll out cling film on a work surface and put a thin pancake on top. Using a palate knife spread the blended stuffing evenly on top of the pancake, approximately 2mm thick.

Put the hare loin on top and shape the package in the cling film into a neat ‘brick’ shape. Trim excess pancake from the ends and overlaps. Remove the cling film and wrap the brick in pastry so as to minimise any overlap. Seal the sides and ends of the pastry with egg white.

Cook in a roasting tin with a little vegetable oil at 200˚C. When the first side is brown rotate until all four sides are of even colour; this should take about 10 minutes. Don’t overcook: like many other types of game hare is horrible well done. When cooked slice off excess pastry from both ends and slice into medallions. Serve with root vegetables and game sauce flavoured with prunes.