front and rear legs from 2 hares (8 legs)
1 jar porcini in olive oil (or 30g dried porcini and 4 tablespoons olive oil)
2 brown onions, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled, chopped
2 sprigs thyme
3 fresh bay leaves
500ml dark ale (we love Hallertau #4 Deception Schwarzbier)
1 litre hare stock (or dark chicken stock)

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1.Preheat the oven to 160°C.
2.Season the legs liberally with salt and pepper and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
3.Strain the porcini and pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a frying pan set over a medium heat.
4.Brown the porcini with the onion, celery and carrot.
5.Add the thyme and whole bay leaves (so you can pick them out before serving).
6.Transfer the browned vegetables and herbs to a casserole or heavy-based pot.
7.Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the frying pan and heat over a high heat until the oil is shimmering.
8.Add the hare legs to the hot oil and brown the meat on both sides.
9.When all sides are sealed, transfer the legs to the casserole dish with the vegetables.
10.Deglaze the pan with 200ml of the ale, using a wooden spoon to scrape up all the caramelised bits.
11.Add the pan juices to the casserole; top it up with stock and the remaining ale until the meat is almost covered.
12.Cover the meat with a circle of baking paper cut to the size of the casserole dish, put the lid on and place in the oven.
13.Cook for about 3 hours; the hare is cooked when the meat easily falls away from the bone.
14.Remove the legs from the casserole dish and set aside.
15.Discard the thyme and bay leaves.
16.Reduce the remaining liquid by a third over a medium heat, until it thickens to form a sauce to coat the meat.
17.Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
18.Return the legs to the sauce until ready to serve.
19.Spoon the sauce generously over the meat.
20.Finish with fresh ground black pepper and accompany with a simple watercress salad and potato mash or creamy polenta.

Recipes & food styling Dariush Lolaiy / Photography Tony Nyberg

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