Coun­try Mouse

Game the­ory

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

AT our lo­cal farm­ers’ mar­kets in Peters­field and Winch­ester, you can buy four oven-ready par­tridge or pheas­ant for just £10. They may be­come cheaper, I’m told, as the sea­son pro­gresses. How times have changed. Once, pheas­ant was treated as a supreme gift— my great friend at school used to turn up af­ter half term with a brace for our house­mas­ter, but now they are al­most given away. In­deed, many shoots do just that to the game deal­ers.

Game is a truly prized dish on the Con­ti­nent, but, al­though it’s cheap, it has be­come un­fash­ion­able to the wider pop­u­la­tion, de­spite its low fat con­tent and free-range cre­den­tials. Where there has been some suc­cess is thanks to chefs de­vel­op­ing recipes for the mod­ern taste, such as cur­ried pheas­ant or Ken­tucky fried par­tridge breast. The well­hung, roasted pheas­ant, al­though a favourite of mine, is no longer the way to serve it to the younger gen­er­a­tion.

Shoot­ing plays such an im­por­tant role in the con­ser­va­tion of the coun­try­side that it is im­per­a­tive that we find ex­cit­ing and de­li­cious ways of cook­ing all that we shoot. I would love to see game on New Year’s Eve be­com­ing as tra­di­tional as a tur­key on Christ­mas Day. MH

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