Respect for your quarry
Fieldsports are a vital part of the fabric of our nation. They provide an industry which enables the countryside to look after wildlife, flora and fauna. Such industry generates much-needed revenue to support the upkeep of the countryside and shape the beauty which so many people love.
Game shooting is steeped in tradition, and the traditional dress adhered to by its participants is derived from the number one rule in fieldsports: respect for your quarry. Tweed suits are donned to pursue game not only because the wool cloth is one of the finest materials made, but also because it gives a formality to the pursuit. One wouldn’t head to a formal occasion in jeans and a t-shirt, and the same applies to shooting game. Tweed cloth represents the countryside in many ways and we would be lost without it.
The respect of game is not only limited to the chase, it is also evident in how we deal with the carcasses and the journey it takes from the field to the table. Much of the game is distributed to the wider public and plenty is eaten by fieldsports men and women, their families and the wider communities in which they live.
There are also some amazing groups of people that are helping to raise awareness of the fantastic benefits of game.
One such group is The Country Food Trust, which makes a pheasant casserole and a partridge curry, packaged in pouches and distributed to charities, who in turn distribute to those in need all for free (www.thecountryfoodtrust.org).
There are even the Game Eat Awards. Hosted by James Purdey & Sons Ltd, Boisdale Restaurants and Taste of Game, these awards aim to celebrate all that is best about wild British produce by recognising great culinary achievements and other contributions to the cooking and eating of game. Taste of Game is the collective behind the Great British Game Week (19th–25th November 2018), a perfect way for game shots to promote the benefits of game to the wider public.
Here is one of our favourites:
Preparation: 15 mins
Cooking: 45 mins
Naan or paratha bread poppadums crisply fried onions and picklesINGREDIENTS
A 2 inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic
6 tbsps oil
6 pheasant breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
10 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsps ground cumin
3 tsps mild paprika
6 tbsps natural yoghurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsps freshly chopped coriander
Blend the ginger, garlic and 4 tbsps of the water in a liquidiser.
Heat half the oil and lightly brown the pheasant and set to one side.
Add the remaining oil and heat with the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon. Add the onions, and cook until golden brown.
Stir in the ginger and garlic paste and the remaining spices. Blend in the yoghurt and return the pheasant to the pan with the remaining water.
Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until the pheasant is tender.
Season and sprinkle over the fresh coriander. Serve with the accompaniments.