Hare Meat – Interesting Facts

Raw hare meat is a deep reddish brown colour, juicy and has fine fibres. Compared to the mild flavour of rabbit meat, which tastes a little like fowl, hare meat is distinctly more gamey. The leg and back are particularly popular cuts of meat. This aromatic meat goes well with a fruity sauce – juniper berries, rosemary, pears and chestnuts complement the gamey flavour of hare meat excellently. 

Food Facts Food Facts

Hare Meat

Class

Lepus

Calories

115 kcal per 100g

Nutrients

0g carbohydrate, 0g fibre, 3g fat, 22g protein per 100g

Season

available frozen year-round, fresh from October to December

Storage

store in the refrigerator

Shelf life

2 days, up to 8 months when frozen

Hare Meat – Origin and Characteristics

The hare is originally from East and Central Europe. It was then released and bred in other countries and continents, like South America, Australia and New Zealand, as quarry. Nowadays hares are predominantly bred in South America and the majority of the hare meat found in the frozen section of the supermarket is from Argentina. The population of wild hares has decreased in Switzerland, leading to strict regulations on when they can be hunted. Fresh hare meat is only available between October and December, as they may not be hunted at any other time.

Hare meat is often confused with rabbit meat, but there are some significant differences between the two species of the Leporidae family. An adult hare can weigh up to six kilogrammes and is tall, slender and strong with ears larger than its head. Rabbits on the other hand are small, weigh only two kilogrammes and their ears are smaller than their head. The wild nature of the hare is easy to detect in the taste of its meat, whereas rabbit meat is milder and tastes similar to fowl. 

Hare Meat – Elegant Roast with a Wild Aroma

Hare meat is available whole or in individual parts, like the back or leg. Fresh meat has a matt gloss and should not have dark edges or patches. Hare meat can be used to create many sophisticated and satisfying meals. When preparing hare it is important to make sure it is cooked through thoroughly to kill off any pathogens. The core temperature should reach 80°C for at least 2 minutes to ensure the hare is cooked properly.

A whole hare can be prepared in numerous ways. The front legs can be turned into pâté or ragout, the flank steak can be used to make sauce or stock and the back legs taste delicious braised. The most valuable cut is the back of the hare – as a fillet or whole. As hare meat is very lean, covering it in some bacon before cooking prevents it from drying out.

To enjoy fresh hare meat, eat it in winter. Roasted hare meat goes well with dark sauces and spätzle and vegetables. Why not try a delicious hare roast instead of the traditional Christmas goose or turkey? Find out how to prepare this and many more hare meat dishes in our recipes.

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