Game — Furred & Feathered, Preparation & Cooking Tips

Young game birds are suitable for roasting and may be identified by their soft, pliable bones and feet and moist appearance; older birds should be braised or stewed.

The term furred game includes the meat from deer (venison) and hare. Rabbit, because it is very much like hare, is often classified as game though strictly speaking it is not. The quality joints are the haunch (leg) and the saddle. Preparation of furred game consists of the removal of the fine outer membrane and sinew using a flexible filleting knife followed by larding or barding of the joint. The meat is then marinated for 2-4 hours, drained and wiped prior to cooking. Furred game may be roasted, pot roasted or stewed as appropriate.

Hare lièvre
Young hare are used in preference for roasting, pot roasting and stewing and may be identified by the ease with which the ears may be torn. They are in season between August and March. Once skinned they should be hung for a few days in a refrigerator in order to tenderize and develop a “gamy” flavor. The diaphragm containing the blood and offal used to make jugged hare should be intact.

Hare may be jointed for stewing into 16 pieces: the saddle and low neck should yield 6 pieces; each shoulder should yield 2 pieces; each leg divides into 3 pieces.

Rabbit — lapin Young rabbit, usually about 3-4 months old, should be used in preference for cooking and may be identified by the ease with which the ears may be torn and the under-jaw broken. The flesh should be firm, moist and white. Rabbit may be jointed for cooking into 16 pieces as for hare.