The 1st of October brings the start of pheasant season, and we now have plenty in stock which have been brought in from shoots across England; but mainly Yorkshire.
Pheasant is the largest of the British wild game birds and has a mild flavour that makes it perfect for anyone who is new to eating game. Some wild birds –especially grouse - can taste quite strong, and might put off a novice trying game for the first time. We always recommend pheasant as a good place to start.
Pheasant is 100% wild and the birds are free to roam as they please, and can cover large distances. Because of this they don’t carry much fat and are naturally very lean. Although the lower fat means pheasant is a healthy choice, it can lead to the meat drying out whilst cooking. To keep pheasant moist we recommend either braising it in stock, or roasting with a piece of bacon or pancetta over the breast to keep the moisture in.
Coutryside magazine The Field have put together their 10 best pheasant recipes and there's a great selection of ideas there.
The shooting times for wild birds are legally restricted, because this allows time for the bird population to recover and build up again before the shoots begin again the next year.
British game season starts on the 12th of August when Grouse becomes available, and then gets busier as more birds are allowed to be hunted. Partridge and Mallard were added to the menu from 1st September, and now with pheasant we’re in full swing.
The pheasant season will run now until the 1st February when it will be the last of the birds’ seasons to end. We will have fresh pheasant in stock until the middle of February, and then we will have a small amount of frozen birds, but no more fresh until the new season starts next October.
All of our game birds are available to buy in person from our shop on Smithfield Market, in central London. However, Smithfield’s opening hours are unusual because we open the shop at 1am and close at 8am. If this is a little too early for you, we also offer an online ordering service and we can deliver to your door, right across the UK.
3rd October 2016