INGREDIENTS

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BRAISED HARE LEG

4 hare legs
100g smoked black bacon
4 carrots peeled and chopped into 1 cm dice
2 onions peeled and chopped into 1 cm dice
2 sticks celery chopped into 1 cm dice
5 banana shallots peeled and chopped into 1 cm dice
1 bulb garlic split in half
10 star anise
5 sprigs thyme
1 tsp cracked black pepper    
1 tbsp juniper berries
1 level tsp fennel seeds
1 bottle red wine
1/4 bottle rich port
2g salt
20g flour
500ml white chicken stock
150ml vegetable oil
30g butter
Oven 170c

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FOR FERMENTING THE CABBAGE

5kg of very thinly sliced red cabbage
80g coarse sea salt
6g toasted caraway seeds
6g of toasted celery seeds
6g toasted Juniper seeds
6 bay leaves

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THE CHOUXCROUTE

300g Piece of smoked back bacon cut into 1 inch Blocks with skin
1.5 kg onions peeled & very thinly sliced
8 bay leaves
20g thyme
20g of crushed black peppercorns
40 juniper berries crushed
Place above spices into muslin
20g Maldon sea salt to season the onion
80g sugar
200g duck fat
1 whole Saucisse de Morteaux ( This is a smoked sausage )
3 litres white wine
500ml white wine vinegar

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Serves Four

Braised Hare Leg

With spices and fermented cabbage

METHOD

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BRAISED HARE LEG

Season the legs with salt and pepper then roll in the flour, keeping any excess. Heat up a casserole pot on a medium heat then add then oil. When hot then place in the legs and seal all over till golden, turning on all sides. This should take no more than five minutes, then turn the pan down low and remove the legs. Add the butter then add the carrot, bacon, thyme, anise, garlic, pepper, fennel, and salt then cook this till golden and roasted on a medium heat for five minutes.

Then add the celery, onion, and shallot and cook for another five minutes till it is all nicely coloured. Then add any remaining flour cook for a minute then add the red wine reduce this by half then add then port and chicken stock. Bring this to a simmer then skim off any scum, place this off the stove to cool and add the hare legs. These will marinate in the stock for a day and then place this all back onto the heat and bring back to a simmer, skim again and then cover with a lid and place in to the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours. Then this is ready I would serve with this some braised onions and some chouxcroute.

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CARROT PUREE WITH STAR ANISE

Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, add in the carrots with the salt, sugar, tarragon, thyme, star anise. Cover with a tight lid and cook for 10-12 min stirring now and again. Add the stock and cream and cook till this has reduced at a medium simmer for approx 15 mins. Add the lemon juice right at the end. Reduce this down till thick and soft, remove 3 of the star anise from the carrots as well as the thyme and tarragon, place the carrots into a blender with the star anise and puree till very smooth. Pass this through a fine sieve, puree the rest coarsely, mix together and cool.

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FERMENTING THE CABBAGE

Shred the cabbage very thinly Pound all the above together for at least 5-10 mins with your fists and scrunch it up well. This will bring out all the water, then this is ready, pack this down really in a plastic container, so that the cabbage is really packed in well in its own juice, pressing down to release any air bubbles and to submerge the cabbage in its own brine and liquid.  Have a single smaller lid inside this container that is pressing down on the cabbage and then underneath this is a piece of parchment paper to keep all this under water. Cover with a lid, then leave at room temperature for 7 days, between 15-20c. During this time, remove the covers at least once a day and check to see that the vegetables are still submerged in the brine, and give it a mix, you should start to see some bubbles on top, which is a sign that the fermentation is underway. This can then be kept at a room temp of 11c-15c so that the fermentation carries on, then when its sour enough, place into the fridge.  Wait at least 5 days before you can use the cabbage, as it depends on exactly how strong you want the taste and flavour of the fermented cabbage to develop.

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THE CHOUXCROUTE

Heat a pan on a medium high heat, add the duck fat, when melted add the onions, bacon, whole smoked sausage, thyme, juniper, peppercorns, bay leaves all spices wrapped in a muslin cloth, cook for 8-12 mins till slightly soft, with no colour add the drained cabbage & remaining ingredients, cover with a sheet of greaseproof cut into a round sheet, then bring to a quick simmer, cook for approx. 1 ½ hours till the cabbage is just cooked but not soft, it must be with a little bite still. Drain any liquid and reduce this down on its own and add it back, making sure that its not too salty. , Make sure the cabbage does not over cook, if it’s nearly ready then drain off the liquid and reduce it down separately to the cabbage then mix the two together and then chill in the blast chiller. The smoked sausage is to be peeled then chilled in the fridge till firm, then this can all be sliced up into rings approx 1mm thick on the gravity slicer so that it’s all even, allow 3 slice a portion.

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