Tuesday, 2 February 2010
What to swig with jugged hare
The end of the shooting season and what better dish to celebrate it with than jugged hare, a pungent, gamey, earthy dish that my family loathe but I love and descend on from above at least once every winter. And then what beer shall be served alongside? I cracked open a Cantillon lambic, thinking of that old wine and food adage — champagne goes with everything and lambic is close enough to champagne (I have got a five-year-old bottle of Deus cooling in the cellar but I am saving it for a special occasion), so ipso facto crack open a bottle of Cantillon that I have had for at least 12 months. Its effervescence scrubbed the palate clean between mouthfuls and it was sharp and funky; they worked together but it didn’t enhance the dish, so I opened a bottle of Lost Abbey’s Ten Commandments. This was a revelation as the pepper and rosemary spice in the background melded and moulded itself around each mouthful of hare with its coating of a rich sauce slightly sweetened by the addition of homemade rowanberry jelly. If Moses had been around he would have thought ‘bugger the exodus, give me a glass’. And afterwards its old spice mellowness also worked well with the chocolate cake I’d bought half-price from the Co-op en route back from my Sunday lunchtime beers. The chocolate creaminess of the cake and the spice and warming alcohol of the beer got on famously like they’d been pals forever and I toasted the hare.