It’s August 12th today – the day the season for shooting grouse begins. One cookery writer (I forget who now) describes eating just one grouse each year – stuffed with two raspberries and a knob of butter, and served on a piece of fried bread.
There are also sorts of other game treats, aside from grouse, in store as the year draws on:
- Pheasant stuffed with Boursin (my favourite way to cook it): or red wine
- Indian-ish partridge
- Venison steak with rich chocolate sauce; encased in pastry and served with pomegranate jelly
- A rugged, wild boar ragú (we don’t shoot boar in the UK).
And then there’s rabbit, pigeon…. the list goes on.
For a truly excellent, and visually gorgeous, book on game cooking try Andrew Pern’s Loose Birds and Game.
Most game is now available throughout the year, thanks to the freezer and also to the fact that some is actually farmed, but wild game is always better in season – so what are the principal game seasons in the UK?
|Game||Region||Start date||Finish date|
|Duck and Goose||UK||1 Sept||31 Jan (extended to February below the high tide line|
|Red grouse||UK||12 Aug||19 Dec (in Northern Ireland they stop at the end of Nov)|
|Hare||UK except Northern Ireland||1 Aug||29 Feb|
|Partridge||UK||1 Sept||1 Feb|
|Pheasant||UK||1 Oct||1 Feb|