Haunches of venison, roast pheasants, stew upon stew of gamey goodness – now is the time to spend a little time getting to know the different flavours and textures of the wonderfully versatile world of game.
The word ‘game’ refers to wild animals and birds that are hunted and eaten. Wild game, such as the pheasant, duck, venison and pigeon from farmer Andy Clarke’s family run Park Farm in Kent, generally is more flavoursome than farmed meat and its flavour factor can vary, depending on how long a meat has been ‘hung’ for. Hanging meat helps to reduce wild game’s potential for a tougher texture compared to their farmed counterparts, and they are usually hung for a period from a few days to up to 12 (for venison).
We’ve put together 5 belly-warming recipes to try your hand cooking these rich, lean, and incredibly versatile meats.
1. Roast Pheasant with Beetroot
Simply roasted pheasant is given a perfect pink partner in pickled beetroot (as pictured above).
You can find out Roasted Pheasant & Pickled Beetroot recipe here, in the shop.
2. Duck Ragu
Get a little Italian flavour in this hearty pasta dish by way of wild duck from Park Farm in Kent. It’s a comforting slow-cooked dish that’s well worth the rich, flavoursome wait.
You can find our Duck Ragu recipe, in the shop.
3. Herby Haunch of Venison
Stuff a haunch of venison with slices of apple and a mix of chopped rosemary, thyme, garlic and honey. Roll your haunch up and roast at 220C for about 30 minutes and leave to rest. Reduce its juices with a little cider for gravy.
See Park Farm’s haunch of venison in the shop.
4. Duck Rillettes
Duck legs are dry-brined, braised in spiced goose fat, shredded and potted in this dish. Like a rough pâté, it’s full of gamey flavour with a little bite and is delightful to slather on toast.
You can find our Duck Rillettes recipe here, in the shop.
5. Boozy Venison Stew
This one-pot wonder is a great way to get a venison hit with little effort. Brown the diced venison in a heavy pot. Remove from the pan and fry finely chopped onions, celery and carrots until softened. Add the meat back to the pan and fry again for 5 minutes or so. Add in a couple of tablespoons of flour, mix it around and top with a little water, a dash of port, a few squirts of tomato ketchup, a bit of Worcester sauce and enough red wine to cover the meat. Leave to cook on a low heat for about 2 hours – keep an eye on it – until the meat is tender.
See Park Farm’s diced venison in the shop.