Having grown up on the edge of a large hunting estate in Fife I have always been familiar with the start of the hunting season, the collective shots being fired and echoing throughout the estate every weekend. As the nearest safe haven it also meant we regularly ended up with a stray pheasant in our garden on a fairly regular basis, with a number of friends involved in shooting what they didn't realise is that my mother would by then have a brace of this pheasants friends already hanging in the garage. But I digress, the point is that I have grown up eating game birds. From pheasant to duck, grouse and wood pigeon they all made a regular appearance at our dinner table when I was a kid.
Not that many years on, well so I like to think, and I find myself in the last few years now living in Edinburgh and having become a pretty competent cook I have come to game birds for interesting eating. Living with my girlfriend Steph I have had to think sometimes “would she eat this” but as we have settled into the routine of visiting the farmers market on a weekly basis she is now the one really pushing for different things. Duck is a favourite, John Torodes posh duck pie (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/posh_duck_pie_27124) which I'm proud to say I bone myself has been the biggest success, but wood pigeon, pheasant and grouse have also been gone down a treat.
The purveyors of most of what I buy are Ridley Fish & Game (http://www.ridleysfishandgame.co.uk/index.html) who are weekly visitors to the Stockbridge farmers market. From venison, mallard, grouse, pheasant to even squirrel they have options for even the most hardened lover of game, what is great about them as with all passionate producers is that they talk to you about the product given you ideas and suggestions on how best to cook the product. Ridleys also have a fish stall at the market and when in season have some of the best priced lobster you will find anywhere.
For the health conscious game birds provide a much better fat to protein ratio, for the foodie they are simply good eating. If you haven't tried any of the above I really encourage you to do so, it will be cheaper and tastier than any supermarket chicken. The truth is game birds are a sustainable and local food supply that we should all be looking at. It supports local estates and helps to supports jobs. Can't say fairer than that can I?
Eating game comes highly JD Recommended 🙂