We have a great selection of game this week, all of it wild. We have rabbit that has been ferreted in Chidham, wood pigeon shot off the rapeseed in Stoughton, fallow deer from Uppark and Hampshire muntjac and mallard.
Game is lean, healthy, and sustainable – in fact with restaurants closed during the lockdown, the number of venison has increased dramatically, so we all need to eat it. Venison and game are superb sources of protein that has more iron, vitamins and selenium than other red meat, while being lower in saturated fatty acids.
If you have never cooked with game before, then you just need to make sure you don’t overcook it, as it is lean and will dry out. Venison is a great substitute for beef, with the choice of steaks, roasts, mince, or diced to suit your meal. The flavour is more complex as their diet is completely varied, depending on what is tastiest at any given time of the year.
Rabbit should be slow-cooked until tender, but acts as a good alternative to chicken, and this casserole recipe is a good place to start.
Wild wood pigeon is delicious, rich and gamey, becoming a favourite with chefs. It goes well with beetroot or wild berries and plums, and you can pan-fry the breasts quickly.
It’s definitely worth having more game in your diet, it’s better for you and better for the environment, and it’s truly delicious.