Un­der the coverts with... Jose Souto

Chef lec­turer in culi­nary arts at West­min­ster Kingsway Col­lege and BASC food am­bas­sador.

Shooting Gazette - - Shoot briefing -

What’s the big­gest mis­take peo­ple make when cook­ing game?

On veni­son, peo­ple might use the loins and then just mince the rest of the fore quar­ter be­cause tra­di­tion­ally they might think that’s all it was good for. Yes they can be minced but braised shoul­der and slow cooked veni­son breast are fan­tas­tic and some of my favourite dishes. Peo­ple just need to be a bit more ad­ven­tur­ous. Game has suf­fered from some poor recipes over the years, poor be­cause they were writ­ten at a time when the qual­ity of game wasn’t par­tic­u­larly that good and at a time when we en­joyed stronger flavours. We also used to use strong mari­nades to ten­derise and mask the flavour of what in many cases was an old stag which the chef had been asked to cook. This meat had its prob­lems that the chef would try to mask, hide and make eat­able.

How long should you hang game for?

I don’t ac­tu­ally hang game birds, I ‘rest’ them. Hang­ing was orig­i­nally done to ten­derise and to add flavour: we don’t need to ten­derise birds any­more, and game birds have such an in­dica­tive flavour of their own, so why do we need to add any more? What I nor­mally do is to wrap a car­cass in a plas­tic bag and place it in the fridge at home (or hang in a game larder fridge un­wrapped) for a cou­ple of days to al­low the adren­a­line in the bird to set­tle down. The birds is then ready to use with its own flavour and noth­ing added.

How do we get more shoot­ing peo­ple eat­ing game?

When I’m do­ing my cook­ery demon­stra­tions I don’t want to in­flu­ence peo­ple with dishes, what I want to do is take a bird and show peo­ple its dif­fer­ent parts, ex­plain to them the ‘fun­da­men­tal rules’ with the bird and then ex­plain what can and can­not be done with it. It’s so im­por­tant to keep what you can do sim­ple. So many peo­ple are ter­ri­fied of un­der­cooked game meat. Game is not poul­try. It’s com­pletely dif­fer­ent. What I say to peo­ple dur­ing my demon­stra­tions is to err on the side of cau­tion, un­der­cook your game and then let it rest – this rest­ing pe­riod will al­low the resid­ual heat to fin­ish cook­ing your bird perfectly.

What’s your ul­ti­mate am­bi­tion has a BASC am­bas­sador?

To get as many peo­ple eat­ing game and see it as a sus­tain­able and eth­i­cal source of meat. Game is the most im­por­tant thing in shoot­ing, not the shoot­ing it­self. We have some phe­nom­e­nal game that goes abroad but I would like to see a lot more game con­sumed in this coun­try.

Name three in­gre­di­ents and one tip­ple we should be hav­ing with our pheas­ant this month?

Try roast new po­tato wedges that have been stir fried in duck fat un­til they’re just about to colour. Then throw them in a roast pan and put them in the oven. With the pheas­ants either poach and roast, or roast straight off af­ter colour­ing in a pan. When it’s their turn to go into the oven pop them on top of the wedges so the flavour from the bird drips down into the wedges. Once the birds and wedges are ready, re­move and add a veni­son or chicken stock to the juices in roast­ing pan, re­duce and serve that as the gravy. Some­thing like black­cur­rants or rasp­ber­ries can go well in your roast gravy as does sauteed mush­rooms added at last minute. For a drink, you don’t need heavy red wine; go for a rose or a light white wine in­stead.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.