Do you know your Game?
The flesh of any wild animal or bird is classified as Game. Game meets the needs of a growing society that wishes to eat ethically and is against intensive farming. This is borne out by the fact that supermarket sales of game jumped by 20% last season with some reporting an increase in venison sales of over 30%.
The most well known game meats are probably venison or pheasant. But game is split into three categories:
Winged: Duck, Goose, Partridge, Grouse, Pheasant,
Ground: Rabbit, Hare or squirrel
Big Game: Venison from deer, elk, moose and wild boar or bear
Once killed, Game is drawn – a technical name for gutting. It is then left to cool and then hung for several days. There are varying views on whether game birds should be drawn before hanging but smaller birds are generally not drawn.
So, what are the reasons why Game is becoming so popular?
It is completely natural
Game meat is derived from animals living on natural landscapes. Their habitats are usually farmland and forests, so their diet has been pure and natural. Given that the animal has not been bred and reared for mass production, no growth hormones, antibiotics or additives are present either.
Game meat is lean. As a result of being wild and able to walk and roam freely they so do not store much fat. Given that game is a low fat, low cholesterol and lean meat, it makes a great choice for anyone watching their calorie intake.
Game is nutritious. It is high in iron and many other nutrients such as Vitamin B and E, Zinc and beta carotene. It also contains the ideal proportion of Omega 3 – Omega 6 fatty acids so it is a great source of healthy fat. It is also high in protein suiting anyone requiring a high protein diet. For anyone following a paleo diet (to reverse autoimmune disease) game is also an ideal choice.
Low Carbon Footprint
Game is not intensively farmed and is mostly sourced locally so the game industry has a low carbon footprint.
Conservation and Sustainability
The game industry does a lot for conservation with positive effects on the environment and ecology of our countryside. Indeed, two million hectares are actively managed and over £250 million is spent by the industry on conservation.
By playing a key role in the management of the population of wild game it ensures they do not increase to an unsustainable degree. Ancient forests and woodland are not destroyed by over population and wild flowers thrive.
Distinctive & Delicious
Words like ‘gamey’ or ‘wild’ are often used to describe the taste of game. However, it is probably the strength of flavour that is being described. Because game has generally eaten food derived from the farmland and forests where they live, their diet has been pure and natural, so this contributes to the flavour. Some game meat, like pigeon, has a much stronger flavour because it is so rich in iron.
Simple to Cook
Given that game meat is so lean, it is very quick and easy to cook. There are many recipes that include various game meats.
On that note, we have a new Game course coming in 2020. If you are looking to learn skills and techniques for preparing game dishes, and to acquire some great recipes along the way, then this new Game course is for you.
Including, wild boar, hare and duck plus a 3-bird roast on the menu, this course will give you plenty of opportunities to hone new skills. We will publish the full details on the website soon.
We’d love you to come and visit us in beautiful Gascony so click here to browse our current available courses.
David and Bernard