At long last, my Latvian hare trio is complete! I started this project when I discovered those mysterious recipes for hare cheese. If you run an internet search for hare cheese in English, Russian, or Latvian, you probably won’t find much; for one thing, you won’t see a single picture. This in itself required further investigation.
Because I don’t spend my time dining on wild Scottish hare from D’artagnan, and because my own attempt at hare hunting could easily replace “wild goose chase” in proverbial parlance, it took me a couple of years to reach a point where I was satisfied with my result. Early on, it became clear to me that a whole hare yielded way too much hare cheese, and so I looked for other dishes of Latvian inspiration that could use hare. In particular, I determined that cooking the leg meat in fat ensures that it doesn’t get dry, and hare loin really shouldn’t be cooked more than medium-rare.
Each dish taken individually may feel simple — Latvian cuisine, after all, is quite rustic. The combined result of the three dishes, however, showcases a wide variety of Latvian flavors, and makes a great three-course meal. To paraphrase some of my previous rants, now I could almost claim that this is a Latvian food blog 🙂 Seriously, look at the top results in your favorite search engine: they may be very interesting web sites, but they don’t have all that much to do with Latvian food, unless you have a very lenient conception of geography and ethnicity.
Hare Cheese, Onion Jam, Cornichons
Sautéed Hare Loin, Blackcurrant Balsam, Barley
Hare Leg Confit, Potato Pancakes, Sauerkraut
There’s no hare ice cream — this isn’t Iron Chef.