Getting game right in-store can boost margins and transform good value cuts into delicious seasonal dishes. Passionate British food expert Rachel Green (who hails from a farming family going back 14 generations) shows you how to get your game on and make this often under estimated homegrown meat part of your menu.
Being a Lincolnshire girl born and bred, I adore the countryside, and I love love love cooking game. The first partridge and pheasant of the season always inspire me to create some delicious new recipes. Wild mushrooms are another passion of mine, and I enjoy foraging for them in the woods and then cooking them simply with butter, garlic and parsley.
I will be cooking with Venison sausages at the Farm Shop and Deli Show; they are a low fat, healthy meat, and a delicious, gamey tasting sausage, often flavoured with juniper and red wine. The venison is often mixed with pork fat to ensure the sausages are not too dry. Well suited to casseroling and braising.
Of course, I am justifiably proud of our sausages, which are one of the things that Lincolnshire is famous for. In fact, I am regularly involved in judging sausages at County Shows, something that I always look forward to. Competition is fierce, the recipes a closely guarded secret, and there is always much deliberation amongst the judges!
Another great sausage is Wild Boar, a hearty sausage, stronger in flavour and darker in colour than an ordinary pork sausage. Often flavoured with apples, garlic and red wine.
I am excited to showcase a variety of game recipes at the forthcoming Farm Shop and Deli Show at 10.45 Wednesday 20th April, and have included a little taster recipe below of my Venison Sausages with Roasted Garlic Mash for you to try.
Venison Sausages with Roasted Garlic Mash
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
8 venison sausages
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
8 juniper berries
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
200ml red wine
300ml chicken / game stock
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
1 bay leaf
½ tbsp thyme leaves
For the roasted garlic mash
1 head garlic
4 tbsp rapeseed oil
1kg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
Sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4
First prepare the garlic for the mash. Cut the head of garlic in half horizontally and place both halves, cut side up, on a sheet of tin foil. Drizzle with half of the rapeseed oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Loosely wrap the foil over the top of the garlic to make a parcel and twist the edges to seal. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until the garlic is completely soft and lightly caramelised.
For the sausages, heat the rapeseed oil in a casserole dish or heavy based saucepan and brown the sausages well on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the juniper berries and flour and cook for a further 2 minutes. Blend in the balsamic vinegar, red wine and stock, stirring all the time, until you have a smooth, thickened sauce. Add the redcurrant jelly and herbs and return the sausages to the pan. Simmer gently for 15 minutes.
For the mash, place the potatoes in a large pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer until tender; drain very well and purée through a ricer for a very smooth texture. If you do not have a ricer, just ensure that you mash the potatoes as smoothly as possible, season well with sea salt and black pepper. Squeeze in the roasted garlic cloves. Add the remaining oil and beat in well. Serve with the sausages and sauce.