The start of October means we’re now well into Autumn, which is one of our favourite times of year.
The leaves are falling, the air is crisp, and we can start to get excited because we’re getting closer to Christmas which is the highlight of any butcher’s year.
But the best thing about October is that the game season is now in full swing!
Grouse were the first wild game bird to become available on August 12th, and back in September we began selling Partridge and Mallard.
On 1st October the hunting season for Pheasant began, which means we are now able to offer the full range of game birds and will have them all in stock for delivery right across the UK, until the end of the hunting season at the beginning of February.
Pheasant are the largest of the British game birds, and weigh a hefty 700g each. Although this is less than half the size of a standard chicken or duck (around 1.5-2kg each), they're giants compared to other wild birds.
Partridge are the smallest at 250g, and although Mallard are 650g these wild ducks are quite bony so they don’t provide as much meat as the pheasant.
Pheasant has a rich taste that’s very indulgent, and is a great meat for entertaining and impressing your guests. It isn’t as strong as grouse but has a pleasant and distinctive flavour that can be cooked with other ingredients without overpowering them.
Wild game birds have territories that can stretch over a large area, and because of the amount of flying and running they do, they tend to be very lean.
Because of their low fat content some of the smaller game birds dry out quickly during cooking and are tricky to get right, but because pheasant is larger it’s harder to spoil, and can be cooked a little longer without drying out.
Simply brown quickly in a pan with melted butter and pop in the oven for 30 minutes at 190°C (Gas Mark 5) until cooked through.
Serve pheasant with a creamy potato dauphinoise and some green veg, or if you’re looking for more inspiration take a look at these pheasant recipes from the Great British Chefs.
3rd October 2017