The Hampstead Butcher & Providore
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Glorious Game

Posted Tuesday 12th September 2017

There is a silver lining to all these clouds that have descended upon us.  Autumn is coming and that means Game season is here.

There is nothing more British than the glorious Game meat that roams wild and free in the heart of the British countryside. It’s one of the healthiest meats you can eat as its low in cholesterol and fat but absolutely bursting with flavour, mainly down to its naturally foraged and varied diet.

Once a meat for special occasions (a Goose makes a great Christmas alternative to Turkey – but more about that later in the season), it’s now not just all about roasting.  Its tender meat is delicious in casseroles and pies and it adds amazing depth of flavour to a hearty Autumn soup.

Here at The Hampstead Butcher & Providore we love to add Game to our rather tasty sausages.  We combine the fabulous flavours of Venison and Red Wine and Wild Boar with Apple to make some of the finest Game Sausages you will have tasted.

We stock Game in our cabinets and counters throughout the season but as a wild meat with varied availability (see website for details), we advise customers who know exactly what it is they want, to pre-order with us 2 days before.  

Seize the moment and enjoy delicious Game Meat right now.  Come in and see our Butchers for advice and guidance any day of the week.

Game has a reputation to be a difficult item to prepare and cook and these guidelines will show how simple the process actually is.

Firstly, we can do all the preparing for you – just ask when you order or collect.

The most important thing when cooking Game is not to overcook it, and also to rest the meat after cooking, this allows the meat tissue time to relax after cooking so it will retain its juices when cut. Game is such a healthy meat to eat due to its low-fat content, but due to this it can go dry.

Birds can be wrapped in streaky bacon to help keep them moist, if using bacon, omit salt from your seasoning and just use a little milled black pepper. You can add flavour to complement your bird, simply by adding a clove of garlic and a sprig of thyme in the cavity or juniper berry, thyme and orange zest.

We recommend using rapeseed oil. It has a high burn point, so you can cook with it without damaging the flavour. It's very good for you, too, being even lower in saturated fat than olive oil, and full of omega-3 and -6 and vitamin E, which helps 'fix' the omegas, even when the oil is heated.

Bring meat to room temperature and pat dry on kitchen paper before cooking.

Wood Pigeon / Partridge

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Season the bird inside and out, heat rapeseed oil in an oven-proof frying pan, sauté and lightly brown the bird all over for 2-3 minutes then transfer to the oven.

Wood Pigeon 5 -7 minutes / Partridge 12-15 minutes

Remove and rest the birds under loose foil in a warm place for 8-10 minutes. Serve/slice as required.

Grouse / Pheasant

Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Season the bird inside and out, heat rapeseed oil in an oven proof frying pan, sauté and lightly brown the bird all over 4-5 minutes, then transfer to the oven. Turn halfway through cooking.

Grouse 10-12 minutes / Pheasant 20-30 minutes

Remove and rest the birds under loose foil in a warm place for 8-10 minutes. Serve/slice as required.

Venison Haunch Roast / Mallard

Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7.

For Venison, heat rapeseed oil in a roasting tray, sauté and lightly brown the roast all over. For Mallard, rub skin with oil, prick fat all over, then transfer to the oven – turn and baste the meat a few times throughout cooking.

Venison 17 minutes per 500g for Medium Rare / Mallard 35-40 mins

Remove and rest under loose foil in a warm place for 20-30 minutes. Serve/slice as required.

Diced Venison

Heat rapeseed oil in a braising pan, sauté and brown well all over, drain, cook with your other ingredients (stock, vegetables etc), simmer gently on the hob with a lid for 60-70 minutes until tender.

Wild Rabbit (Whole)

Preheat oven to 220°C/gas 7. Heat rapeseed oil in a roasting pan, sauté and brown well all over. Season, then transfer to the oven, cook 20-25 minutes. Turn and baste the meat a few times throughout cooking. Remove and rest the Rabbit under loose foil in a warm place for 12-15 minutes. Serve/joint/slice as required.


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