Rare saddle of hare with ajo blanco
Rare saddle of hare with ajo blanco Dariush Lolaiy, Cazador
2 hare saddles, silverskin removed
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
50 g blanched almonds
50 g day old white sourdough bread, no crusts
1/2 garlic clove
1/4 telegraph cucumber, peeled and cubed
2tsp quality white wine vinegar
50 g water
30ml extra virgin olive oil
Season the trimmed saddles a day in advance with salt, half the rosemary and a
sprig of thyme. Refrigerate overnight.
Heat oven to 220ºC.
Warm a heavy-based, oven safe pan - large enough for both saddles - over a
medium heat. Add some cooking fat and sear the saddles, loin-side down, to
caramelise the meat. Add garlic, the remaining rosemary and thyme, and a spoon
of butter. Turn the meat in the pan and use a spoon to baste the meat with butter
and herbs for 1 minute.
Transfer the pan to the oven for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest in warm
spot, loosely covered in foil for 5 minutes.
Warm the almonds in a low oven, remove before the almonds begin to colour. Soak
the bread in the milk for ten minutes. Use a mixer to blend almonds until fine, add
the bread and any remaining milk, garlic, cucumber, vinegar and water. Blend until
smooth, slowly add the olive oil while blending, add a pinch of salt to season, aim
for a puree consistency, adjust with water if necessary.
To remove the loins from the saddle, run your knife along the backbone of the
saddle and cut down to the ribs, following the ribs with your knife. Turn the saddle
and remove the fillets in the same manner.
Slice the meat against the grain into three segments. Serve with the ajo blanco
puree and fresh seasonal vegetables, we're currently enjoying this dish with turnips,
tarragon and sautéed grapes.