Hare loin (“hazenrugfilet” in Dutch) is the most prized part of a hare: it is very tender but lean red meat with a lot of flavor. Hare has a ‘gamey’ taste, which is not appreciated by everyone. Hare loin is often served with sweet garnishes or sauces such as port and figs, but it also works great with sauerkraut. You can hunt, skin, and butcher your own hare, or you can just get it from the butcher. This preparation is quite easy if you already have the hare loins and hare stock. I used steamed chestnuts as they are sold that way and there are no preservatives or other stuff added. The sweetness of the chestnuts works well to balance out the sourness of the sauerkraut. If you have the time it is best to cook the hare at a low oven temperature, but if you are in a hurry cook it in a hotter oven to still get a good result (but more overcooked towards the edges).
2 hare loins
250 ml (1 cup) red wine
250 ml (1 cup) hare stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
250 grams (1/2 pound) sauerkraut
250 grams (1/2 pound) steamed chestnuts
500 grams (1 pound) potatoes
2 Tbsp clarified butter or 1 Tbsp butter plus 1 Tbsp olive oil
some fresh thyme sprigs
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, chopped
Put the loins in an oven dish and insert the probe of an instant-read thermometer into one of the loins (making sure that the tip of the probe is in the center of the loin). Cook in the oven at 80C/175F to a core temperature of 55C/131F. This will take about an hour. If you want it to go faster, you can use an oven as high as 175C/350F, but more of the outer edge of the meat will overcook that way and the meat will need to rest for 5-10 minutes after you take it out of the oven.
Hare loin pairs well with many elegant reds, but with the sauerkraut it works best with a red burgundy or other pinot noir with some freshness.