Leg of Hare "au soleil"

Leg of hare was a dish frequently served at First Empire tables, during dinners which lasted the entire afternoon. In cities, dinner could equally well be at 2 pm as at 6 pm. The Revolution turned the mealtime routine upside down.

Breakfast was eaten between 8 and 9 am, most often taking the form of a cup of milky coffee or hot chocolate. Office workers, who rose early, adopted the habit of eating a fork lunch around 11 am-noon. This was a light meal of cold or grilled meat, eggs and one or two vegetables. (The expression “déjeuner à la fourchette”, or fork lunch, is thought to derive from the innovative culinary practice of a certain Mme Hardy, who ran a small café on the Boulevard des Italiens, providing local politicians with cold dishes, and meats which they could select with a long fork and ask to have grilled.)

Dinnertime could be anytime between 2 pm (the traditional time) and 6 pm, depending on people's habits. It comprised numerous savoury dishes and desserts.
In households accustomed to going to bed late, “souper” (the modern brunch) was served at around 11 am-noon.

Labourers ate three meals a day: at 9 am (soup, stew or wine), at 2 pm (fruit, cheese and wine), and once the day's work was over, at 6 pm (roast meat or cold cuts with wine).

In rural areas, mealtimes were determined by daylight hours: lunch between 8 and 9 am, dinner at 1 or 2 pm, and supper at 8 or 9 pm.


1 hare/rabbit cut into pieces
200 g bacon cubes
30 g butter or margarine
1 dsp oil
100 g. white mushrooms
1 level dsp flour
1 stock cube
1 glass white wine
Oil for frying
3 eggs, breadcrumbs

Period Recipe

De-bone the hare and lard it with middle-sized pieces of bacon seasoned with salt, pepper and crushed herbs; melt some butter in a pan and fry the hare legs in it over a hot flame for ten minutes. Add to the pan a dessert spoon full of flour, a spoonful of stock, some "dégraisser de velouté"*, a bay leaf , some mushrooms, half a bottle of good white wine, and a bouquet of parsley and chives; Place the pan on a "plafond"**: then break five whole eggs into a bowl, add salt and pepper and then beat the eggs as if for an omelette; dip the legs in the egg (make sure that the egg reaches every part), roll them in breadcrumbs and arrange them in a nice shape.Place them on a "plafond": when you want to serve them, heat your oil; when it's hot, fry your hare legs in it; when they are nicely browned remove and drain on a clean cloth; then fry some parsley, arrange your hare legs in a crown shape and put the fried parsley in the centre. * a sauce prepared beforehand used to enhance other sauces. ** A "plafond" is a large metal tray used for cooking different dishes at the same time in the oven.  André Viard, Le cuisinier impérial, Paris: Barba, 1806

Bon appetit

Ask your butcher to cut up the rabbit

1. Make some incisions and insert the bacon cubes rolled in the pepper and chopped parsley.
2. Brown the rabbit pieces in a frying pan over a hot flame, in a mixture of butter and oil, for 10 minutes.
3. Add the washed, sliced mushrooms and the rest of the bacon cubes.
4. When the meat is well browned, sprinkle a level dessertspoonful of flour over it and stir in with a wooden spoon. Add the stock cube dissolved in water, and the white wine.
5. Leave to simmer for between 30-45 min (or 25 min in the pressure cooker)
6. If desired, you can coat the rabbit pieces beforehand in beaten egg and breadcrumbs. Then fry them in the oil.

Type of Recipe