It’s Great British Game Week
It’s good to see game meat becoming more popular, featuring on restaurant menus, recipe books and on television (on shows like Masterchef and Great British Menu you are more likely to see chefs using rabbit, venison and quail, than chicken, for example).
I think people can be put off by the fact that game can be more challenging on the taste buds. That’s why you hear a phrase like “it’s very gamey” – you don’t however hear people say “it’s very chickeny’, for example. I am not sure that is even a word but you get my drift!
Granted, it can be a little tougher, depending on the age of the animal and how skilled the cook is of course, but it’s generally more flavoursome than farmed meat.
I have also, on a few occasions, ordered pheasant in a restaurant and have had to spit out pieces of shot – but please don’t let this put you off; it’s all part and parcel of eating game and it’s certainly not dull!
If you are still unconvinced, here are a few tips for making sure your ‘game experience’ is a positive one.
Buy your meat game direct from butchers or farm shops. Avoid the supermarkets as game from here will most probably be farmed (which means you can guarantee there will be no shot in the meat of course!)
Ask your butcher how old the game is (a good one will know all the detail) because this will affect the cooking of it. Fresh game can be cooked quickly (pan frying in lots of butter is always a winner) whereas older meat should be slowly cooked, with stewing a good option.
Fresh game can be frozen but do it as soon as you buy it and make sure you eat it within a few months.
If you are keep fresh game in the fridge, make sure you eat it within a couple of days and don’t let it touch or drip onto other food.
Hopefully, you will now be ‘game’ enough to try it but if you need any further persuasion try the following recipe:
Roasted rabbit with potatoes and vegetables
One medium sized rabbit, skinned and cleaned
1/2 pound of potatoes, quartered
4 carrots, slicked thickly
1 large onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves (peeled and left whole)
4 teaspoons fresh thyme (finely chopped)
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
1. Preheat oven to 475F
2. Place the potatoes, garlic, carrots and onion in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of thyme, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 3/ 4 teaspoon salt, sugar and 1/ 4 teaspoon pepper; toss with the vegetable oil to coat the vegetables.
3. In a separate small bowl mix together the butter and the rest of the seasoning.
4. Season the rabbit with salt and pepper and arrange the potatoes and vegetables around it in a large roasting tin.. Brush the rabbit with the herb butter mixture.
5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, checking the rabbit is cooked throughout.