the background

Game is the epitome of British seasonal produce. Originally it was illegal to even sell game outside of seasons, although now you can sell certain frozen species out of their ‘shooting season’.  What was once the meat of gentry and brave poachers, Game meat has quickly become a favourite for restaurants and the keen home cook. Where once upon a time some 95% of British Game produce went into the continent, now it less than 60% - but for us, our local produce is all sold in the UK, 100% and most of it locally in the East Anglian region or in to London.

Our industry is well supported by Taste of Game tasteofgame.org.uk and Game to Eat gametoeat.co.uk who publish recipes and promote Game meats for the UK dinner table. Their recipes are fantastic and worth a try – the more the merrier.

Game is classified by a split between feather and fur. Below are a few examples of what we sell, but if you need something you can’t see, please contact us to ask – we will either have it in stock or will be able to point you in the right direction to someone that does.

 

FEATHER

Pheasant – (Shooting season 1st Oct – 1st February). The Classic example of a Game bird. A rich meat, best eaten from Mid-November – seasons end, it can be used in a variety of ways. Classic roast, in a curry, with apples & cider, made into burgers or cold sliced with a chutney of choice just to name a few. Please see links to recipes for your perfect dish.

Partridge – (Shooting season 1st Sept – 1st February). A smaller plump breasted bird than the more well-known Pheasant, the partridge can either be a Red Legged (French) or Grey (English). The Red Legged partridge is now much more common and most recipes are written with this in mind. It is a super little bird and enjoyable throughout its season. It is lighter and softer than pheasant and was Keith Floyd’s favourite meat. He of course, cooked it with red wine, but it can be spatch-cocked, roasted, mixed with pasta or pan fried with fruit, to name a few. Please see links to recipes for your perfect dish.

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Mallard – (inland Shooting season 1st Sept – 31st January) – The most common type of duck in the UK, these wild water birds are dark, strong and full of flavour. Best suited with a strong fruit or berry, they can also be a treat slow cooked with wine, plum or cherry based sauces. Best eaten later in the season for a main course, in the early season they provide the ingredients for an excellent starter or pate.

Pigeon – (Shooting season all year round) – The Wood pigeon is shot as a pest on farms in the UK. Pigeons can strip a field in days and as such farmers will allow keen, willing sportsman to sit in hides or under trees for hours on end, providing the farmer with some relief. Pigeon meat is dark, rich and deep. It can be roasted, pan fried or grilled, a starter or a main it has become fashionably popular.

Grouse - (Shooting season 12th August – 10th December). The undisputed king of Game birds, the Grouse can be found in Northern England and mainly in Scotland, living on the heather moors, eating shoots and insects that thrive in this vital habitat. Land managed for Grouse shooting has up to 95% greater species diversity and life than land un-managed for Grouse shooting and the result is exceptional sport as the fastest Game bird in the UK swoops and curls; and once shot it also provides some exceptional eating. The start of the Grouse season is known as the glorious 12th and there is always a rush in the London restaurants to see who can get the first grouse on the table. Grouse is the one bird we give an exception for – it doesn’t come from the local Suffolk/Essex border, but as the Grouse rules the shooting skies, so we can make an exception for it and supplies arrive from up North. Our Grouse comes from selected moors in Yorkshire and Cumbria.

 

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Teal – (inland Shooting season 1st Sept – 31st January) – a small duck, which flies towards water ways at speed and height, it then plummets to the water surface in the twinkling of dusk. The majestic scene when shooting these birds is mirrored by the delicate, majestic taste. Full of complex flavours this is a bird for the brave cook or fan of rich meats, but the bold often get lucky and those in the know will use Teal as a super starter to a winter’s dinner.

 

FUR

Rabbit – (Shooting season all year round) – Like the pigeon the Rabbit can be taken all year, either shot, trapped or netted. Our Rabbits are ‘clean killed’, meaning they are head shot with a rifle or trapped/netted – as such there shouldn’t be any shot found in our Fur products. Arguably the most versatile Game meat, Rabbit is light, tasty, healthy and goes with almost anything, in fact our Granddad’s favourite was Rabbit boiled in milk. With so many options we’ll let you decide which is best – but watch for the small bones in the legs and forelegs.

Hare – (Shooting season all year Round  - but we only sell Oct – March) – The fastest land mammal in the UK, the Brown Hare is big, strong and tastes it. Hard to cook and master, the famous Jugged hare has tripped many a farmers’ wife in the past, but in the right hands it can be a sumptuous and different dish to add variety to your cooking.

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Venison – (Shooting Seasons –vary on species) – with 4 main species of deer now prevalent in the UK, venison can be in the form of Red Deer, Fallow Deer, Roe Deer or Muntjac. Any venison shot on our farm is sold through a separate source so please contact us and we will direct you to our hand-picked, specialist butchers outlet for Venison.