Getting Carried away with Caraway and Hare! And a wee trip away to Dublin…
We have now covered a lot of ground in Edinburgh and it was time to make the most of the ridiculously cheap Ryanair flights and head off to Dublin for the weekend. This was my first trip to Ireland. It was Shan’s second trip – his last one was during his bach years and he spent more time drinking Guinness than sightseeing, so it felt like a first for him too. Dublin is full on!! The city is heaving with Euro’s, in particular, with Brits on their hens and stag weekends! Here is a run down of the highlights from our wet weekend in Dublin:
– Finally finding a pub that was not spilling out with tourists, as well as not serving American wings and burgers! We tucked into to an incredibly dense Guinness stew and a generous seafood chowder, whilst enjoying my first pint of Guinness in Ireland and listening to the addictive sounds of an Irish band playing in the background.
– Visiting the Guinness Storehouse! Despite being inundated by every tourist in Dublin simultaneously, we loved the tour and especially enjoyed a pint of Guinness each whilst savouring the stunning sunset at the Gravity Bar.
– Discovering that I have a taste for Jameson at their Whisky experience (but I am still loyal to my Islay Whiskies from Scotland of course!).
– Checking out the historical museum Dublinia. We learnt so much about the history of the Vikings that ventured to Ireland way back in the 1st millennium! We loved it so much that we have ceased watching tacky Brit TV and are watching a series called Vikings instead!
– To top off our Dublin weekend, we had a fortuitous meet up with our friends, Ryan and Emma. They have been travelling the world for a year and having a ball – it was so great to meet up and hear tales from your travels guys!
It was then back to daily life in Edinburgh and back to getting stuck into my Scottish cookbook. We are now getting more game (excuse the pun) with our recipe selections and our next challenge ingredient was hare!
We have cooked rabbit a few times before – our first time was for a dinner party we hosted in Colac during Easter (horrible, I know – we cooked the Easter bunny). The rabbit was shot by Shan’s general surgeon and jointed by Shan. But we have never cooked hare.
I ordered the hare from our friendly butcher a few days prior – having not tried hare before, he warned me that it has a very strong flavour. Shan got a little carried away when he went to collect it and brought home 2 hares!
Here is the recipe for Hare Casserole:
1 young hare
2 tbsp butter
750g beef stock
3 small onions, sliced
salt and pepper
2 glasses of port
Cut hare into small pieces (your butcher can take care of that for you) and bacon into thin strips: mix them together. Melt the butter and fry the meat until brown, then transfer to a casserole. Stir in the flour and add the stock, onions, herbs, and seasoning. Cover tightly and cook in a slow oven (150 degrees) for about 3 hours. Remove lid, add the wine, and cook until the liquid thickens. Serve with creamed potatoes.
I slow cooked the hare the whole day. By the end of the day I could remove the pieces from the stew, shred the meat from the bone and return the meat to the stew. We served the hare with mashed tatties, roasted carrots and brussel sprouts.
I have to admit the butcher was right – hare has a rich and very dominant flavour – perhaps it was because we cooked two! We have more leftovers than I know what to do with!! Luckily I relish a leftover challenge and will be making hare pie, hare jaffles and whatever else I can think of… the possibilities are endless!!
I can’t stand buying an ingredient that is only required to be used once, and then never again… So I got carried away with caraway seeds! Caraway seeds feature a few times in the recipe book – from the list I made a Seed cake and Abernethy biscuits. Caraway seeds are an underrated seed/spice – they brought these seemingly simple treats to life! They have also been a handy sugary treat when we are about to keel over from museum overdrive. Here are the recipes:
The recipe begins with: Traditionally, seed cake is served on ‘Alud Handsel’ Monday (the first Monday of the New Year).
150g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp caraway seeds
1 tsp Scotch whisky – I used 2 tbsp and thought it could have even more!
Mix together flour, baking powder, and caraway seeds. Beat eggs and whisky together. Cream butter and sugar; add the well beaten eggs and flour mixture. Pour into an 8-inch tin, greased and lined, and bake for 45mins at 180 degrees.
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
75g castor suger
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 beaten egg
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter, then stir in the sugar and caraway seeds. Mix with the beaten egg and enough milk to make a stiff dough. Turn on to a floured board and roll out thinly. Cut into rounds and prick centres with a fork. Bake on a greased baking sheet in a moderate oven for about 10 mins.