Break away from beef and say ciao to chicken – here’s why game makes the perfect alternative dish to bring to the table this autumn.
Both sustainable and delicious, choosing game over traditional versions of meat is an excellent way to enjoy locally sourced produce and help conserve the British wildlife landscape simultaneously.
Game, which includes everything from pheasant and grouse to venison and hare is a fantastic choice for many reasons. It’s lean and low fat as wild animals tend to be more active in the wild, is a good source of iron and zinc, contains lower omega-6 fatty acids and makes a seriously versatile meal. Game is also championed by countless top chefs, including the Galvin brothers, Simon Hullstone and Lisa Allen.
The Glorious Twelfth
Whilst there are a wide variety of game meats available to whet your appetite, grouse in particular makes an excellent example of combining British tradition with sumptuous wild game for the annual Glorious Twelfth.
The official start of Britain’s 121-day-long grouse shooting season, every year on August 12th, shooters head in droves to rural Britain for the wild bird – which is considered one of the toughest due to its Formula 1-esque 70mph flight speed.
Following the day, the birds are rushed from countryside to city plates for special dishes and feasts. An integral countryside calendar event, the event has changed perceptions of grouse from being purely for the artistocrats and instead, offers foodies the chance to enjoy the sumptuous wild bird.
Numerous venues use the fresh grouse to create a range of dishes – including Boisdale Restaurant, Mac & Wild, Rabbit and Home House – who marked the occasion with a superb dinner featuring Traditional Roast Yorkshire Estate Grouse.
Chris Maxted, shooting agent for William Powell Sporting, commented: “It’s been fantastic to team up with Home House and Zambuni PR to be able to provide fresh young grouse shot from our managed estate, Bransdale in the North York Moors. Events such as these gives us the opportunity to help publicise how important it is that as an industry we should be promoting the benefits of eating game.”
He continued: “The game we eat is the result of the conservation work which grouse keepers undertake to help sustain the grouse population. The accessibility of game has never been so easy or so affordable!”
How you can raise your game
A brand new initiative created by three leading British businesses, James Purdey & Sons Ltd, Boisdale Restaurants and Taste of Game, the Eat Game Awards brings together the shooting, game meat and hospitality sectors to celebrate the wild game meat produced in Britain.
The Awards will embark on a national search to find the champions of British game and to reward their success, innovation and passion in working with this natural countryside harvest. Nominations are now open for the general public to nominate their favourite game meat business or person until 28th February 2018.
The Awards reflect the ever-growing use of wild game with 10 different categories, including Best Restaurant Regularly Serving Game, Game Hero and Best Added Value Game Product.
After the nomination period has finished in February, the public will then be able to vote for the top 10 nominees from the 1st June to the 28th August 2018. The individual or business with the most votes will win in each category. The results will be announced at the Eat Game Awards dinner at Boisdale Canary Wharf on the 9th October 2018.
Hungry for more?
Serve up a slice with these tempting game recipes.
1 William Drabble’s Roast Grouse With Blackberries And Port Wine Jus
2 Pablo Peñalosa-Najera’s Venison Tartare
3 David Gillott’s Venison Carpaccio