As the nights draw in, the hunting season begins! Starts the change to the Autumn Menu!
The term ‘game’ is used to describe wild birds or animals that can be hunted and eaten. Nowadays most of these animals and birds are reared on farms for the purpose of cooking. Quail, Rabbit, Deer and Pheasant are among a few of the dishes you will see popping up over the coming weeks!
If you are lucky enough to get wild meat, its generally more flavoursome but slightly tougher than that of farmed animals. This is generally because there is no control over the age of the animals before they are killed and hung! To help reduce toughness within the meat it is hung, this process helps tenderise the animal and produce the flavour referred to as “gamey”! The longer the meat is hung for the better both elements improve. Hanging is mainly anything from 2 to 12 days (the bigger the animal the longer it takes)
In days gone past, birds were hung from there neck. They would be left like this until the body fell from the head naturally. This form of hanging is a long process and not one that works well with the modern day palate. We have modernised this process in recently time to help us balance flavours throughout the dishes produced on modern menus. We still hang as without this process there is no unique flavour and we could just use farm slaughtered produced.
There are two categories of Game:
Feathered Game: including grouse, pheasant, partridge, quail, snipe, wild duck, woodcock and wood pigeon
Furred Game: hare, rabbit, venison and ‘wild’ boar