This month, we officially welcomed the start of autumn in
the UK. Which means, the nights are a little longer, the air a little crisper
and Game season is well and truly in full swing!
Shooting has been practiced in Britain since prehistoric
times and is a part of British rural culture. However, why do we make such a
fuss of Game season in the foodie world?
Game On - Why celebrate
Game Season? Firstly, Wild Game is not available all year round. The
majority of animals can only be shot during specific times of the year. This
rest period allows the animals to breed and migrate to winter grounds. In the
UK, shooting season starts around August time, right through to December, this
may vary from breed to breed. As the
shooting season is so short, chefs have to make the most of it, which is why
Wild Game is celebrated in restaurants across the UK.
Secondly, Wild Game meat has such a unique taste. This means chefs can get quite experimental with their dishes and move away from their usual menus.
Andrew Pern's Pot Aau Feu
Galvin's Grouse Dish
Get in the Game - Why
Cook with Wild Game? We are so used to eating farm reared animals, that the
thought of eating something wild, can be little daunting for most people. Deer,
elk, rabbit, duck, pheasant, grouse are the most commonly hunted Game animals. Unlike farmed animals, wild ones have a rich,
‘gamey’ taste. And by ‘gamey’ we mean it has an earthy flavour, which is down
to the animal’s varied diet of acorns and weeds. Also, as they are typically
more active, the meat is a lot learner. This means it contains less calories,
less fat and more protein.
As a home cook, you shouldn’t fear sourcing and cooking wild
game. It is fun to experiment with new and interesting ingredients. If you are looking
for meat to bring something different to your dishes, then we
recommend you try cooking with game. It also supports your local food movement.
Ask your butcher what Game meat he can source and start from there.
Wild Game Recipes to
Try at Home
Once you have your Game meat, it’s down to the fun bit – the
recipes! Check out For Cooks favourites below… Andrew Pern’s Pot au Feu. Meaning ‘Pot on the Fire’, this
dish is traditionally made with beef, however, Andrew has added his Yorkshire
charm to the recipe and used locally shot pigeon and duck breast. Andrew
demonstrated this dish at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show and now you can try
it at home! Galvin’s
Daube of Venison Quince and Chestnuts. If you are new to cooking with
Game, then Venison is a great place to start. It is quite similar to beef, only
leaner and richer in taste. This recipe is a Galvin Brother’s classic, go on, give
it a go at home! Paul
Ainsworth’s Roast Grouse, pain au chocolat, roast potatoes and blackberries.
August is the month when Grouse is in high demand, the 12th in
particular. This is known as the ‘Glorious Twelfth’ in the restaurant world,
where the race is on to be the first to feature Grouse on menus! It’s all very
exciting! Grouse is a strong and nimble bird, meaning it is really flavoursome!
Paul teams his with pan au chocolate and blackberries, creating a real
comforting, winter dish. Rupert
Rowley’s Tempura of Partridge & Damson Jelly. Part of the Pheasant
family, the Partridge has delicate and tender flesh. Rupert complements his
with Damson Jelly, lovingly wrapped in seaweed and batter. Special Game Dinners
Game season is highly celebrated in the restaurant world, with
many hosting their own special dinners! Here’s our top picks…
La Chapelle Dinner
Galvin’s La Chapelle –
9th & 10th November La Chapelle will be hosting two dinners, which have at their
heart the King of British Game birds – the noble partridge. Special menus have
been created by Chef Patrol Jeff Galvin and Head Chef Eric Jolibois.
The simplicity of partridge means there is no place for
anything but the finest ingredients, which is exactly what La Chapelle have
gathered together for their Game Dinner. A selection of wines chosen and
presented by Richard Lashbrook, Master of Wine, will accompany the menu.
the menu and book a place here.
Galvin’s Bistrot de
Luxe – 2nd & 3rd November Similar to Galvin’s La Chapelle, Bistrot de Luxe Game Dinner
will concentrate on the simplicity of Game and fine ingredients to go with it.
The word "game” comes from the Old English
"gamen" which means joy, sport and merriment. This is the focus of
Birstot de Luxe’s Dinner, as it is shows the process they go through to get the
Game to your plate. To accompany the six courses, there will also be a selection of wines specially
chosen by Richard Lashbrook, Master of Wine.
ensure your place, please click here. Northcote - 22nd
Join Northcote for an evening celebrating Game, in
association with BASC.
As with everything from Northcote, the Dinner will be pure
indulgence, with the best Game and Champagne in the land.
BASC's mission is to promote and protect sporting shooting
and the well-being of the countryside throughout the UK and overseas. This
dinner is all about hearing about their work, while chefs Lisa and Aled deliver
a menu to celebrate delicious local Game.
You will enjoy a four course menu, Louis Roederer Champagne
& Canapé reception and £20 donation to BASC charity.
out more and book a table here. Rowley’s Restaurant –
Rowley’s Restaurant is putting on a real tasty dinner this
month with their Game for All Evening! The menu is varied, using some of the
best locally sourced Game. How does Venison Bresaola, Mini Game Pie and
Pheasant Boudin sound? Amazing!
out the menu here and book your table.