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Chasseur stewed hare, tuscany style

(Lepre in umido alla cacciatora alla toscana)

  • 8-9 pieces of hare
  • leg and loin, which have been prepared in the above recipe, during the cooking of the sauce for the pappardelle
  • 8 slices of stale polenta (maize flour thick porridge) also bought already cooked
Take a small saucepan and warm up in their sauce the pieces of hare, previously cooked (it is much better if cooked the previous day) by diluting the same sauce, if it would result too thick, with some spoons of the pappardelle cooking water. Let it boil very slowly, covering the pan with a lid in order the heat could uniformly penetrate also inside the meat. Over a grill, roast the slices of polenta over a very brisky heat, in order they would become crunchy outside and soft inside. Put 2 slices of polenta in each plate, then season them with 2-3 spoons of sauce, then put over them the pieces of hare, 2 pieces each plate, and serve like a second course after the pappardelle of the previous recipe.
This recipe represents another characteristic of the popular cooking: by preparing a recipe, quite naturally, you prepare also the seasoning and a subsequent preparation. This is the big wisdom acquired with the widespread popular experience, which always suggests optimal solutions, extremely sensible, also under an economical point of view, avoiding waste of money, time and hard work. It is a good thing to let the meat rest for an entire night in its sauce because (as we will see in detail in the "stracotto alla Fiorentina"), differently from the braised meat, the Tuscany system does not contemplate a "browning" with consequent external crust, with an attraction of the essences inside the same meat. But this system provides the opposite effect, by "sweating", by stewing in the chopped vegetables the meats give off their humours, which leave out flavouring the whole meat. But this system leaves the meats a little bit dry, so that, if they are eaten immediately, they are not succulent. So that it is necessary that they cool down and they remain for a long time to marinate, because a certain part of the sauce would be re-absorbed, with a great advantage for the taste and the deliciousness. Traditionally, in the home cooking, all the meat sauces and the stewed meats are cooked one day and overdone the day after.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni

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