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Hollandse Hazenpeper met Kruidkoek (Dutch Hare Stew)

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Hollandse Hazenpeper met Kruidkoek (Dutch Hare Stew)

Hollandse Hazenpeper

Photo © Sven Benjamins for Mo' Media
This recipe has been translated from the original Dutch in Lekker Hollands and has been republished with the permission of the publisher.

The kruidkoek (a dense Dutch spice bread) thickens the sauce and lends a rich and spicy flavor. Use the finest Friese kruidkoek you can find. Ordinary kruidkoek (or gingerbread cake) will also bind the sauce, but Frisian kruidkoek contains more spices, which lends extra character to this classic Dutch dish.

Ingredients:

  • 4 hare (hind) legs
  • Salt and freshly milled pepper
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup red wine (250 ml)
  • 2 cups (poultry or meat) stock (500 ml)
  • 1 2/3 cups 'Friese kruidkoek' or any gingerbread cake (150 g)
  • ------
  • You will need:
  • A large ovenproof dish
  • Tin foil/Aluminum foil

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 392 degrees F (200 degrees C). Season the hare legs with salt and pepper and gently dust with flour. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan and brown the hare legs. Remove the meat from the pan and place the legs in an ovenproof dish.

Clean the frying pan, heat the rest of the oil and fry the onions over a medium heat for five minutes. Add the tomato puree and bay leaves and cook for a few more minutes. Now pour in the wine and stock and bring to the boil.

Crumble the kruidkoek over the hare legs and pour the wine mixture over it. Cover the ovenproof dish with aluminum foil. Set the dish on the middle oven rack and cook the hare legs for approximately 2 hours.

Take the hare legs out of the sauce and pour the sauce into a pan. Allow the hare legs to cool down and pluck the meat from the bones. Mix the meat through the sauce in the pan.

Heat the meat in the sauce over a low heat for another 10 minutes until warmed through. Season the dish with salt and pepper. Serve the Dutch hare stew with potato puree, poached pears or Brussels sprouts with bacon.

Serves 4.

Yolanda's Tips:

  • Serve this dish with a rustic red wine like a Marcillac, from the Aveyron.

    Karin's Tips:

  • If you can't find Friese kruidkoek or even regular kruidkoek, simply use whatever gingerbread cake or spiced cake you're familiar with. It should be quite a dense cake and it should taste spicy. If in doubt whether the cake you're using is spicy enough, you can always add a pinch of allspice to the stew.
  • Oven temperatures can vary greatly. Check the stew regularly towards the end of the cooking time, to make sure it doesn't cook dry and burn.
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