I went to London a couple of years ago and found myself in a well known Department store, not my choice you understand, just showing willing in order to get to the Churchill War Rooms quickly. We were in the food hall looking around and I spotted a (one) pre-packed Pigeon for £6.25. I must have been the Game Dealer in the Ferrari we saw earlier.
Now I love cooking and have cooked and eaten all manner of Game over the years, I’m lucky in that my good lady likes her food and as a runner she can keep off the weight better than me, she’s also a dab hand at finding recipes for me to try out. Her only fault is that she is under the illusion that you can cook using 1 pan and 1 spoon and keep the work surfaces clean at all times – we’ll never agree on that, so she’s banned from the kitchen, seriously.
Some of the best food I have enjoyed and cooked is created quickly and with very little in the way of ingredients and cooking time, ‘Keep it Simple Stupid’ is an adage I try and work to. Clarissa Dickson Wright one half of the Two Fat Ladies is one of the best when it comes to ideas for game, I have the Game Cookbook which is brilliant and if you get chance read ‘Rifling through my Drawers’ full of brilliant stories about food and the countryside.
In summer when there are plenty of pigeon and rabbits available I stock the freezer ready for the dark winter days when I can get cooking pies with fresh greens and gravy. That’s old fashioned stuff I know but it lifts the spirit!
It’s easy to say to people if you’ve never tried eating game you don’t know what you’re missing, however, if you venture out for a meal and Game is on the menu it seems to be quite pricey and folk don’t like spending hard earned cash on something they might not like. I know a pub where Pigeon Shooters gather after a hard day and could easily supply the kitchen with Pigeons but the staff say there’s no call for it!
I like to cook and share my efforts with friends and family hoping that they enjoy it enough to try it for themselves, it works, sometimes. The main problem is Rabbits – lots of children have them as pets and Mum & Dad can’t be seen tucking in to Rabbit Ragu or Smoked Rabbit Pizza without causing a revolution! I may have told the odd fib in the past and told them it was Chicken.
I’m glad to see there have been some really good campaigns recently to get more Game on the table. Game to Eat from the Countryside Alliance is the best example, recipes are easy to do and cover a wide range of Game and what type of wine to have with it, although there’s nothing wrong with IPA. They also have links to books, events and guides about handling game and where to buy it. Celebrity Chefs also have got onto it and produced some great ideas such as Jamie Oliver (who includes Goat in his Game section?!).
If you eat what you shoot send us your favourite recipes and we’ll publish them on the website.