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Baked Hare Or Rabbit

1 Rabbit or hare, cleaned & skinned
2 Celery stalks, with leaves, chopped
2 md Onions; chopped
1 Carrot; sliced
1/2 c Chopped fresh parsley
1 Bay leaf; crumbled
2 Sprigs fresh rosemary
6 Peppercorns; bruised
2 c Dry red wine
1/2 c Vinegar
1/4 c Butter
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
8 oz Tomato sauce
3 Allspice berries


After washing the rabbit or hare thoroughly & cutting into serving pieces, place in a large glass or earthenware bowl. Make a marinade by combining the celery, onions, carrots, herbs, peppercorns, wine, & vinegar & pouring over the meat. Cover & refrigerate for a day or two, turning the pieces over occasionally. On serving day, drain, reserving the marinade, & wipe dry. Transfer the marinade to a casserole & simmer for 15 minutes. While the marinade is cooking, heat the butter in a large frying pan, & when very hot sear the meat over high heat until it is reddened in color without browning. Remove from the heat, & with a spatula lift the rabbit or hare pieces into the simmering marinade, then pour in the remaining butter. Taste for seasoning, then add the salt & pepper, tomatoes, & allspice. Weight the meat with a small plate to keep it under the sauce, then bake it in a very slow oven (225 F) for 2-1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender & the sauce thickened.


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