A Hare Stew

What, Where, When:

  • Rabbit stew with onions.
  • Based on a recipe from central France, dated to approximately 1466.

Original Recipe and Translation

Ung civé de lievres. Faictez asler lez lievres, et puis depecer, et mectre en ung chauderon. Et prandre l’ognon assez gros maincé,et faire frire en saing de lart, et puis mectre avec le grain, et frire tout ensemble. Et prandre du bouillon de beuf, et faire asler du pain tant qu’il soit assez noir,  et qu’il soit destrampé de bouillon de beuf et de vin. Et puis le coler, et le gecter dedans le grain, et faire boullir ensemble. Et puis prenés les espices, c’est assavoir girofle, graine, nois muscade, gingibre et ung poy de maxis – Le Recuil de Riom

A hare stew. Put the hares to roast, and then cut apart, and put it into a pot.  And take onions, cut in large pieces, and put to fry in lard, and then put with the meat, and fry it all together. And take beef broth, and put bread to roast until it is rather black, and temper it with beef broth and with wine.  And then strain it, and cast it in with the meat, and boil it together.  And then take the spices, which are known to be cloves, grains of paradise, nutmeg, ginger and a little mace.  (Translation by Jennifer Soucy)


This recipe is from Le Recuil de Riom, a source more fully discussed in the full translation.  

  • Although on first glance this recipe is similar to the grané d’alouestez, the onions and the nutmeg and mace significantly alter the flavor.
  • In addition, this sauce is thickened with bread only, rather than with bread and liver – the bread, however, is toasted until black.  Previous experiments have shown that the more the bread is toasted, the less thickening power it has.

Haricot of Lamb

The slightly sour, herbal sauce offsets any gaminess from the lamb in this rich stew.


  • 2 slices wheat toast

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • 1 cup red wine

  • 1 tsp whole cloves

  • ½ tsp whole grains of paradise

  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

  • ½ tsp mace blades

  • 1 rabbit

  • Bacon drippings

  • 2 onions, chopped


  • Grind all spices, mix with beef broth, red wine, and toast. Blend until smooth.
  • Roast the rabbit at approximately 375° until approximately ¾ cooked.
  • Cut rabbit into serving pieces, and fry lightly in bacon drippings.
  • Add chopped onion to frying rabbit.
  • When onion is softened and smells good, strain wine-and-bread mixture into pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer until rabbit is cooked.


Sources are detailed here.

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