In the amba kitchen we love October. Farmers markets are aglow with the amber and jade of the early pumpkins and cooking apples. Celeriac, parsnips and cauliflower are also at it best. Haunches of venison, roast pheasants, stew upon stew of gamey goodness – now is the time to spend a little time getting to know the different flavours and textures of the wonderfully versatile world of game. As we were told in school: game are wild animals and birds hunted for sport and cooked for the table.
Wild game’s generally more flavoursome than farmed meat, and may be a little tougher, depending on the age of the animal. To counteract the toughness, it’s ‘hung’ after shooting to help tenderise the meat and encourage the development of ‘gamey’ flavours. The longer meat is hung, the more pronounced the flavour will become, but hanging periods usually range from two days (for rabbit) to up to 12 days (for venison).
Here, at the amba kitchen we have been making the most of this month and have been cooking delicious game terrines with celeriac remoulade, pheasant meatballs glazed with mollases and topped with a butternut squash puree and roasted loin of venison with spiced beetroot puree and mushrooms.