Ideas for re­boot­ing your shoot lunch

Shooting Gazette - - Shooting cuisine -

Don’t just stick to tra­di­tional brown food – go with the sea­sons and if it’s hot on early grouse or partridge days, serve cold Pimm’s from a large ice-filled flask along­side a thai-in­spired crab salad

On sunny days, pour off about 10cm of wa­ter from wa­ter bot­tles and put them into the freezer the night be­fore so that you have ice cold wa­ter the next day for thirsty guns and dogs

to rev up a roast, mari­nade a leg or shoul­der of pork in chilli, le­mon, sage, gar­lic, red chilli flakes and olive oil for 24 hours, then roast un­til ten­der and suc­cu­lent

Serve some­thing savoury in­stead of a pud­ding on re­ally cold shoot days, such as Welsh rarebit or an­gels (oys­ters) and devils (prunes) on horse­back

Wine seems to be the de­fault drink nowa­days, but if you serve proper jugs of beer with lunch watch ev­ery­one’s eyes light up. You can, of course, have wine to hand

If you have room out­side the shoot room add an out­door fire pit or bas­ket, it cre­ates a re­ally warm wel­come on cold, crisp days. Pre-lunch drinks can then be served with fire-roasted cock­tail sausages cooked in a mar­malade glaze

Herb dumplings are per­fect for pep­ping up a sim­ple casse­role

You can get away with serv­ing York­shire pud­ding with al­most any­thing

try ad­ding dif­fer­ent herbs to the bat­ter

Fry onions and sage to serve with pork

chopped rose­mary and pars­ley is per­fect with a roast chicken

Use beef drip­ping for old­fash­ioned York­shire pud­dings

big bowls of wal­nuts and cob­nuts al­ways go down well on the table

Just for fun, and if time al­lows, why not have a bowl in the cen­tre of the table with spent car­tridge cases in it and a lit­tle pad of pa­per and a pen, so that peo­ple could write some­thing witty then roll it up and pop into a car­tridge case? We pass round the bowl dur­ing cof­fee and read out the bon mots – some of them are a bit fruitier than oth­ers! A bit like a shoot­ing for­tune cookie if you like...

jam roly poly or ap­ple crum­ble and cus­tard were miss­ing from the menu. Even at the height of an In­dian sum­mer, gun’s would feel hood­winked if de­nied a nursery pud­ding. Cold trea­cle tart and vanilla ice cream, rice pud­ding with straw­berry jam or a sum­mer pud­ding laced with fruit and thick dou­ble cream are per­fect choices for a warm partridge or grouse day.

We’ve al­ways called any­thing re­motely choco­laty ‘nutty’. The Isle of Wight’s le­gendary shot Rosie Han­cock, who was in the Navy, brought the word into our house many years ago. Nutty is naval slang for choco­late with or with­out nuts, and cof­fee with­out ‘nutty’ would be a dis­as­ter. Cof­fee is the sig­nal that the off is im­mi­nent and, of course, de­pend­ing on what the mood of the day is, port may make an ap­pear­ance.

Shoot­ing isn’t just about how high, fast and co­pi­ous the birds are, it’s mostly about the amus­ing com­pany and of course the de­li­cious food you eat to­gether.

What­ever you serve on shoot day, a lit­tle imag­i­na­tion goes a long way and doesn't have to cost the earth or take an age to cre­ate.

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