Great British Game Week is back for another year, running from 21-27 November to celebrate all things wild. Follow The Field's guide for the best game recipes, top game cooking tips and the best game restaurants in town and the country
Great British Game Week returns from 21-27 November to celebrate wild food at its very best. Born from a partnership of the Countryside Alliance’s Game to Eat campaign and BASC’s Taste of Game campaign, game dishes will be served across the country to encourage everyone to eat wild. Whether you’ve never tried game before or are a seasoned consumer, take part with The Field’s essential guide. Host a special supper at home with our favourite recipes and top cooking tips. Or, when all else fails, dine out in style at one of the best game restaurants.
There’s nothing better than a game supper to conclude a day in the field but Fielders also love an excellent teatime treat. Follow The Field’s essential guide to afternoon tea to enjoy what is undoubtedly one of Britain’s best institutions.
THE FIELD’S TOP 10 GAME RECIPES
The Field’s favourite game recipes for a home cooked supper party. But for more game recipe inspiration, look through our excellent recipe collection.
The season is in full swing, so roast pheasant is every country cook’s first port of call. Our perfect roast pheasant recipe is one of The Field’s most popular game recipes and with good reason. But roast pheasant isn’t all that convenient in a pocket for much needed sustenance in the field. So our pheasant and walnut pasties are the perfect pastry parcels for the shoot grog stop. And try them with venison if you have no pheasant. And if you’re after more pheasant recipe inspiration the top 10 best pheasant recipes will see you right through the season.
But if you have any partridge lurking in the freezer partridge stuffed with ginger, fennel and coriander puts an inspired Indian twist on the classic bird. And the British craze for potting may seem a little old-fashioned but potting is perfect for pigeon. Our potted pigeon is ideal on toast, preferably with a cold beer. And if you are tired of another roast grouse supper, put a fruity spin on it with our whole roast grouse with grilled peach salad. Your guests will certainly be coming back for seconds.
For point-to-point picnics or elevenses, nothing can top our venison sausage rolls. Or serve venison for supper with Tom’s Pies’ venison pie recipe, a hugely popular offering that you can now recreate at home. If you are feeding a crowd and, amongst them, trying to make converts, our hare ragout with pappardelle pasta packs a game laden punch but the Italian elements add a lighter touch. An ideal first game supper to try during Great British Game Week.
And finally, the best suppers incorporate as much as game as possible. Game consommé is fussy to make but will work wonderfully for an extra special shoot day. Save the leftover game meat for supper. And Tim Maddam’s gamekeeper’s pie puts a gamey twist on the classic cottage pie. A fun supper to serve the uninitiated during Great British Game Week.
THE FIELD’S TOP GAME COOKING TIPS
Cooking game by no means requires professional skills, but follow The Field’s pointers to cook a delicious game supper for Great British Game Week.
Hanging venison is the only way to get a really gamey finish, but how long is best? Read hanging venison. How long is best? for The Field’s top tips. And there’s nothing worse than a dry old bird. But it can still make a succulent and juicy supper. Read reviving a dry bird to find out The Field’s secret.
If you are a seasoned game cook, why not try something a little different for Great British Game Week? Learn how to tea smoke game for an excellent way to flavour and colour game before it is cooked. And if you are a truly hardy soul, why not barbecue your game for Great British Game Week? Learn how to barbecue game. It is less forgiving than other meats but with the right cuts, careful preparation and a perfect technique it will make a delicious supper.
And finally, when the season closes every country cook will have a freezer full of birds. But don’t let them go unused, turn them into a delicious game supper. Read frozen game birds. What to do with them for our top tips.
THE BEST GAME RESTAURANTS IN LONDON
The Ledbury, Notting Hill
The Ledbury prides itself on serving fresh, British produce. The chef describes his cuisine as “based around fabulous British produce where possible, with lots of vegetables and wild English game”. Brett Graham, who opened the restaurant aged just 25, enjoys hunting in his spare time and has plans to open a deer park in 2017. The restaurant holds two Michelin stars and has been featured in S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Game currently on the menu includes Chinese water deer.
To book a table call 020 7792 9090 or visit their website.
Rules, Covent Garden
Rules was established by Thomas Rule in 1798, making it the oldest restaurant in London. They specialise in classic game cookery. Their game section currently includes pheasant, hare, wild duck, venison and red leg partridge. Rules owns an estate in the High Pennines, “England’s last wilderness”, which supplies training in game management for the staff, exercising its own quality controls and determining how the game is treated.
To book a table call 020 7836 5314 or visit their website.
Harwood Arms, Fulham
Hidden away in the back streets of Fulham, the Harwood Arms is the only Michelin-starred pub in London. They are proud to champion the very best of British produce with a focus on game and wild food and served in a relaxed and casual setting. The menu changes daily and they offer a set-priced menu for lunch and dinner, priced at £35.50 for two course and £42.50 for three courses.
Rabbit is the second restaurant run by the Gladwin brothers, the first being The Shed in Notting Hill and they have recently opened Nutbourne in Battersea. The brothers – Richard (front of house), Oliver (chef), and Gregory (farmer) grew up in the Sussex countryside and the root of all of their restaurants is now their farm in Nutbourne. Game currently on the menu at Rabbit includes grouse and rabbit, of course.
To book a table call 020 3750 0172 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mac & Wild, Fitzrovia
Andy Waugh noticed a severe lack of game on restaurant menus and in butchers’ shops when he moved to London. So he started selling venison from his van in Hackney as Wild Game Co. Now his new restaurant Mac & Wild keeps to the mantra “from gun to plate”. And diners can challenge staff on exactly who shot, farmed, caught and picked the game, meat and fish. Game currently on the menu includes the Veni-Moo burger which was voted London’s Best Burger 2016. Mac & Wild are also currently hosting a Winter Rooftop Pop-Up at John Lewis on Oxford Street
To book a table call 020 7637 0510 or visit their website.
The Jugged Hare, Islington
Run by the successful ETM pub group, The Jugged Hare specialises in seasonal British game. And you’d be hard pressed to find a restaurant serving a wider array of game. Therefore during the season, the length of The Jugged Hare’s game list even matches the wine list. The floor to ceiling taxidermy also makes this restaurant a must-visit. Game currently on the menu includes red deer, red legged partridge, grouse and game pie.
To book a table call 020 7614 0134 or email email@example.com
THE BEST GAME RESTAURANTS IN THE COUNTRY
The Pot Kiln, Berkshire
The Pot Kiln is the country cousin of the Harwood Arms. The menus change constantly depending on the supply of local game and the season. And during the summer months the majority of their vegetables are grown in the Pot Kiln garden. So they work closely with Vicars Game in Ashampstead and stalk and cull deer for the table themselves. The West Berkshire Brewery started up in their grounds and they still brew The Pot Kiln’s very own Brick Kiln Bitter. Game currently on the menu includes venison, rabbit, wood pigeon and fallow deer.
To book a table call 01635 201366 or visit their website.
Gamekeeper’s Daughter, Essex and Suffolk
Jess Noy’s main aim with the Gamekeeper’s Daughter is to show how versatile and delicious wild game can be. So the Gamekeeper’s Daughter holds various themed pop-ups and events in the Essex and Suffolk area. And they are also avaliable for bespoke private catering, creating menus using wild game and locally foraged ingredients. Expect signature game dishes of game pies and nutty squirrel creations.
The Cart Shed Restaurant, Essex
William Alldis set up a 24 cover restaurant on his family farm to showcase the best of local and seasonal food. Much of what is served comes from the family farm and they aim not to travel more than 10 miles for any of their ingredients (with the odd exception such as lemons for the G&Ts). William and his friends will also be out with their guns and fishing rods to provide wild meat for the restaurant. Game currently on the menu includes venison and pheasant.
To book a table call 07701 33 33 23 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Cart Shed Restaurant is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday lunch.