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accord mets/vin Daniem Rameau La Rameaudière râble de lièvre pinot noir domaine Krier-Welbes

Saddle of Hare and Pinot Noir, a Seasonal Combination

For Daniel Rameau, an iconic chef in the Grand Duchy, who has been running his restaurant (La Rameaudière, in Ellange-Gare) for 34 years, the starting point has to be to cook in tune with the seasons and terroirs. Since it’s the game season, our chef has gone for a pairing of local saddle of hare washed down with a premium Pinot Noir produced by his friend and neighbour, Guy Krier (Domaine Krier-Welbes).

For Daniel Rameau, an iconic chef in the Grand Duchy, who has been running his restaurant (La Rameaudière, in Ellange-Gare) for 34 years, the starting point has to be to cook in tune with the seasons and terroirs. Since it’s the game season, our chef has gone for a pairing of local saddle of hare washed down with a premium Pinot Noir produced by his friend and neighbour, Guy Krier (Domaine Krier-Welbes).

The vineyards in Luxembourg are able to produce more than just wonderful white wines and elegant effervescence. Thanks to global warming (it has to be said) and most particularly the talent of our winemakers who have managed to work with it, Luxembourg’s reds deserve just as much consideration. Browsing through Daniel Rameau’s wine list would provide ample evidence of this, if any were required. Here, in this premier fine dining destination, there would not be so many reds on offer if they were not worthy of interest.

The chef Daniel Rameau, a leading figure for the “Ambassadors for Luxembourgish Wines and Crémants” (a label awarded to restaurants which give prominence to locally produced wine), makes a special point of providing his customers with a wide choice of local producers. “A few years ago, I still had Alsatian wine on my list, but I don’t any more: what’s the point? In Luxembourg they make wines that are just as good! Likewise, I list only one German producer, and that’s simply because I’ve known him for ages,” Rameau explains.

In short, Rameau, who comes from Épinal, is a convert who has been won over by local produce – and who would contradict him? For over three decades now Luxembourg has also been won over by the reputation he has built up since starting out at the former Jangeli railway station, where in times gone by trains stopped on their way to deliver the coal that would light up blast furnaces in southern parts of the country.

These past few years, the quality of Luxembourg wines has really improved!

More Luxembourgish than many Luxembourgers, Daniel Rameau needs no encouragement to wax lyrical about how well game – for which the season has started – goes with the local Pinot Noir. Because our chef from the Vosges values his new homeland’s local products. He can only imagine this hare as having been hunted locally: “Because it comes from here, the hare is guaranteed to be fresh and top-quality,” he emphasizes. And as for his Pinot Noir, it comes from barely thirty or so metres away. “My neighbour makes wines I love, but I could equally well have selected wines from Yves Sunnen (Domaine Sunnen-Hoffmann, in Remerschen) or Anouk Bastian (Domaine Mathis Bastian et fille, in Remich), for example. These past few years, the quality of Luxembourg wines has really improved!”

The products are seasonal and as soon as you taste them, you know they were meant to go together. The flavours in the hare, the fabulous chestnut mousse and amazing mashed potato team beautifully with the generosity of this elegant Pinot Noir, already finely balanced despite being young (2016) and testimony to the winemaker’s expertise. “With its concentration and long finish, it can be compared to fine Burgundies. And for this level of quality, it’s a very affordable price (20.50 Euros from the estate, 57 Euros in La Rameaudière, which applies a really fair mark-up).

So try this saddle of hare and Guy Krier’s Pinot Noir Wellenstein Foulschette, which couldn’t be a more honest wine. Who could deny themselves such obvious pleasure… Excellent appétit!

picto_ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 Luxembourg saddle of hare, “guaranteed fresh and top-quality” (depending on its size, for 2 or 3 people)
  • Potatoes – firm-fleshed, Charlotte or BF15 potatoes
  • Chestnuts
  • One or two pears
  • Cranberries
  • Chanterelle or porcini mushrooms
picto_recette

The recipe

  1. For the chestnut mousse: pierce the chestnuts with a sharp knife then immerse them in stock that has been brought to the boil and is simmering. Remove the first shell and leave to rest. Immerse the chestnuts in the stock again, then to stop them from cooking, put them into ice cubes to remove the second skin. Blend with a little crème fraîche.
  2. For the pears: make up a syrup using 1 litre of water and 1 kg of sugar. Use a fork to check if the pears are cooked. “The pears should be firm but not hard,” stresses Daniel Rameau.
  3. For the cranberries: “It’s very simple: warm the amount you want in a small pan and sprinkle sugar over them.”
  4. For the potato mash. “I vacuum cook them in a steam oven to keep in all the flavour as it disappears in water,” explains the chef. However, you don’t need to use an oven: simply mash the cooked potatoes with a fork, stir in a knob of butter, an egg yolk, a little crème fraîche and a small clove of garlic. Season with salt, black pepper and a hint of grated nutmeg.
  5. For the mushrooms: “Wash in clean water without soaking them otherwise they’ll absorb the water. Drain thoroughly and then fry in butter in a frying pan with chopped shallots, parsley, salt and black pepper.”
  6. For the saddle of hare: fry it whole in a frying pan for 1 minute on each side. Leave it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes “so the meat” absorbs the juices. Cut into escalopes and, before serving, heat the meat in the oven at 200/220° until it is cooked how you like it.

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