Steamed Hare Bun, Chocolate Sauce

Graham Garrett

Graham Garrett

19th January 2016
Graham Garrett

Steamed Hare Bun, Chocolate Sauce

We were looking at steamed Chinese pork buns and decided to do something similar. Instead of going the obvious route we tried brioche dough, which came out light and perfect. With the rich jus it made sense to me to do the Mexican thing and finish it with a bit of dark chocolate.

serves 8


  • for the bun filling
  • 1 hare, loin fillets removed, separated into pieces, or 4 hare legs
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
  • 250ml red wine
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100ml port
  • 1 litre game or brown chicken stock
  • for the brioche
  • 15g fresh yeast
  • 15g water
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 250g 00 flour
  • 5g fine sea salt
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150g soft butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 squares of 100% dark chocolate
  • watercress
  • fresh horseradish


To make the filling, brown the hare in a little vegetable oil. Remove from pan then brown the vegetables. Deglaze the pan with the wine, add the garlic, herbs and port. Put the hare back in and cover with the stock. Season and cover with a circle of parchment paper and a tight-fitting lid. Braise in a low oven or on top of the stove for about an hour-and-a-half, or pressure cook for 30 minutes.

Leave to cool before passing through a fine sieve. Pick all the meat from the bones and flake into a bowl. Finely chop the cooked vegetables and add them to the meat. Reduce the stock to a sauce consistency. Reserve enough to just coat each bun and add any remaining into the flaked meat. Adjust the seasoning.

Using cling film, make 8 round faggots of the hare mixture weighing roughly 50g each, wrapping them tightly into round balls. Chill them in the fridge to set.

To make the brioche, dissolve the yeast in the water with sugar. Put the flour and salt in the bowl of a mixer and using the paddle attachment beat in the yeast mixture, followed by the eggs. Once a smooth batter consistency is achieved, start adding the butter one piece at a time until it's incorporated. Shape into a ball and place in a floured bowl. Cover with cling film and chill it in the fridge overnight.

Working with the dough straight from the fridge take large golf-ball-sized pieces and flatten them with your hands. Unwrap the hare balls and mould the brioche dough around them. This is best done one at a time to prevent the butter in the dough from melting and becoming sticky. Place on a bun or muffin tray and leave to prove for 15 minutes. Steam the buns for 20 minutes. Once steamed, they can be stored in the fridge and reheated if you don’t want to eat them the same day.

To serve, place a warm bun in each bowl, warm the remaining sauce then, off the heat, whisk in one or two squares of chocolate until glossy and just detectable when you taste it. Check the seasoning then spoon over each bun to just coat. Top each bun with a sprig of watercress and a grating of horseradish.

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