On our 2017 hunting trip my brother Loren snared enough hares to share a couple with Dad and a couple with me.
Snowshoe hares are a little bit more flavourful and tougher than their cousins cotton tail rabbits, as such they are very well suited to stews and braises.
I decided to use the snowshoe hares that Loren snared and subsequently shared with me to make a hare stew inspired by Theo’s Restaurant in Penticton, British Columbia. Theo’s has long been a family favourite and every time we go I can’t help but order their Lagos Stifatho which is the most delicious Greek rabbit stew with lots of onions and tomatoes and cinnamon and the most incredible depth and complexity of flavour.
Below is a rough recipe;
- 2 Snowshoe hares
- smoked paprika
- granulated onion
- powdered garlic
- a lot of shallots/onions
- a head of red Russian garlic
- 1 litre of jarred tomatoes
- bacon fat
- coriander, mustard seed, nigella seed, cloves, allspice
- fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano
- 2.5 sticks of cinnamon (could use one more to get the same level of cinnamon as Theo’s)
- beef stock
- bay leaves
- brown sugar
- red wine
- break down hares
- coat hares in flour paprika, salt, pepper, granulated onion, granulated garlic mixture (ziplock bag works well)
- sear seasoned hares in bacon fat and set aside, deglaze the pan with a bit of red wine
- caramelize the chopped onions/shallots in bacon fat and butter
- add garlic and spices
- add tomatoes, stock, red wine, bay leaves and the rest of the ingredients
- bring to a simmer
- simmer for 3-4 hours
- separate meat from bones
- stir in brandy before serving
- serve over Greek lemon rosemary potatoes or french fries in a pinch.