Roast Saddle of Hare

Like other game,hare is very lean and therefore becomes dry if overcooked. If roasted, it should be removed from the oven while rare or at least still pink. Rare roast hare has an attractive, deep red color. A typical classic preparation of saddle of hare is as follows. Note that this is also the classic treatment for roast venison.

1. Marinate the saddle of hare in a red wine marinade (such as the venison marinade on p. 304).

2. Brown it on top of the stove and roast it rare or medium done,about 15 minutes at 425°F (220°C).

3. Remove the loin muscles from the bone and cut lengthwise into thin slices. Remove the tenderloins from the underside of the saddle and leave whole or slice as desired.

The quality of the finished product depends not only on proper selection and cooking of meats but also on proper storage. Fresh meat is highly perishable.The high cost of meat makes it essential to avoid spoilage.

1. Check purchases on arrival to ensure that purchased meat is of good quality.

2. Do not wrap tightly. Bacteria and mold thrive in moist, stagnant places. Air circulation inhibits their growth. Store loosely arranged on pans or racks to allow air circulation between pieces, but cover cut surfaces to prevent excessive drying.

3. Do not open vacuum-packed meats until ready to use.

4. Store at 32° to 36°F (0° to 2°C). Meat does not freeze until about 28°F (-2°C).

5. Keep meats separated in cooler (or, even better, in separate coolers) and on work-table to avoid cross-contamination.

6. Use as soon as possible. Fresh meats keep well for only two to four days. Ground meats keep even less well because so much surface area is exposed to bacteria.

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