Glorious Game by the celebrated Face Publications is well up to their very high and exacting standards. It is a substantial tome in full colour with gold-edged pages. This is a sumptuous cookbook of recipes from one hundred and one of the UK’s and Ireland’s best-loved chefs and food writers, and they offer the whole gamut of game.
The foreword has been penned by Ben Tish, and recipes are from chefs and writers including Tom Aikens, Jason Atherton, Sat Bains, Monica Galetti, Chris & Jeff Galvin, Skye Gyngell, Angela Hartnett, Simon Hopkinson, Yoshinori Ishii, Vivek Singh, and Cyrus Todiwala. Some contributors might be new names to some readers, but they have all offered worthy dishes that will delight lovers of game, and will likely encourage some delicious experimenting by home cooks.
Game is a healthy source of food and can be found sustainably from well-managed land. The meat is much leaner than farmed meats, due to the more natural diets of the birds and animals, as well as their active and free-range lifestyles. This isn’t food just for the gentry, it’s the way many people lived a few centuries ago. Perhaps we need to get back to eating less meat, but choosing quality meat when we do.
The book includes a unique collection of recipes using the whole range of game meats. Some of these dishes might be more accessible for an advanced home cook, but lots will be perfect for the rest of us. One doesn’t need a battery of specialist kitchen equipment for most of these recipes, but a good frying pan and an oven would be handy.
I have a lot of pick-of-the-book recipes from Glorious Game. Cyrus Todiwala offers us a simple yet sophisticated variation on a type of Indian game Scotch egg! Game Bird Nargisi Kofta uses spices that any Indian-food-loving home cook will have to hand. There are no cheffy techniques – just a bit of mincing, frying and simmering. It’s a versatile recipe, too, allowing the cook to choose any game available.
Shooter’s Game Pie by Andrew Pern is a comforting and hearty raised pie in the great British tradition of such things. Think of the very poshest of pork pies and you will have the idea. This would be magnificent as part of a winter buffet served with some fruity chutney. An attractive centrepiece when whole, and just as tempting when sliced to reveal layers of meats and well-seasoned jelly.
A must-try from Glorious Game is Wild Boar Beans by Gill Meller. The ingredients are surprisingly humble but the wild boar elevates those beans. One could use belly of pork which would be very good, but lacking in the ultra-porky profile. A great dish for a rustic dinner party as it can be made a few days in advance to allow for the flavours to meld and marry. Nothing more needed other than some crusty bread and perhaps some bright stir-fried broccoli stems for colour. A winner!
All proceeds from this book will directly benefit The Moorland Communities Trust and The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. Both of these organisations exist to protect and promote the rural way of life that enables game to thrive. The more we support game now, the more affordable it will become in the future. Let us rejoice in the seasonal delights of game and appreciate our countryside all the more.
Authors: Various chefs and food writers
Published by: Face Publications