When the chef goes wild: the best game dishes
Coperto Restobar loves to share its culinary secrets with readers, with everything from cooking tips, seasonal recipes, culinary trends to backgrounders. This blogpost discusses one of the most important culinary seasons in the Low Countries, namely the hunting season. But is there still such a thing as a hunting season? What should you bear in mind when preparing game at home and what are the latest trends? Chef de cuisine Remco Jansen tells you all about it in this blogpost.
WHAT IS THE HUNTING SEASON?
As the autumn days get shorter and the leaves start falling, we turn to our glowing fireplace for some cosiness and warmth. Food lovers, meanwhile, lick their chops as they know this season has plenty of culinary treats in store for them. The hunting season officially kicked off on 15 October and lasts until 31 January 2019. These days, the hunting season regulations determine which types of game you may hunt. Nowadays, you can buy game most of the year. And many menus feature game dishes, regardless of the season. We therefore call it the culinary hunting season season. A season in which the use of game is central in many kitchens.
PREPARING GAME DISHES AT HOME
A rack of hare, a venison steak or pheasant are all available again in plentiful supply. This flavoursome meat has a characteristic taste. And as these creatures spent their lives foraging in nature, this quality meat is beautifully coloured. Game must be prepared in a certain way, but, says Remco, this should not deter you: “Not every game dish is complicated!”.
A venison steak, for example, should be sautéed 2 times four minutes on either side, depending on the thickness of your steak, until nice and brown. Then set it aside to rest on a pre-heated plate for 5 minutes, wrapped in aluminium foil.
THE SLOW COOKING TREND
If you have more time to spare, then slow cooking is a fun alternative, and a trend in many kitchens this season. This means slowly and gently cooking a breast of wild duck or partridge or cooking a venison fillet or a rack of hare on a low temperature. Slow cooking enhances your meat, bringing out its rich flavour, and making it more tender. So patience pays off. And cooking becomes a real treat, thanks to the big, earthy flavours of the lovely produce that is available in autumn and winter. Serve game with a side of pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, parsnip, red cabbage or beetroot. Other options include flavoursome wild mushrooms, nuts, lentils and chestnuts. They all pair very nicely with game.
Remco does have one important tip: Combine different flavours by all means, but don’t go too far. Don’t pair too many gamy flavours with each other, as each type of game has its own distinctive character. So focus on one specific type of game, pairing it with side dishes that supplement and enhance your dish, taking it to the next level. Need some inspiration? Why not try the geese with red cabbage, shimeji mushrooms, chestnut and grape mustard on Coperto’s menu? We are wild about its fantastic flavour!