As British Food Fortnight continues, it feels fitting to celebrate our game. Lean venison (one of the healthiest meats you can eat); grouse, which delivers a rich flavour despite being such a small bird; pheasant, which is milder than a good chicken but complex and subtly gamey – these are cornerstones of autumnal menus at restaurants across the country, including mine.
I look forward to their seasons each year (August’s Glorious 12th still inspires chefs to race to be the first to serve grouse), but worry about shoots where game goes to waste.
Over the years, I’ve been very kindly invited to all sorts of large-scale shoots but these days prefer small, rough shoots with my mates, followed (ideally) by a long lunch.
I’m a patron of The Country Food Trust, which turns excess meat into high-protein meals for community kitchens and charities across the country.
It reminds me to treasure the meat we cook at home, and with something as versatile as game, there’s no limit to what we can do.