Game Masterclass with Oliver Thompson
Sunday, 16 Jan 2022
10:00am – 4:00pm
Our Executive Head Chef, Oliver Thompson, is running this full day’s tuition on cooking with game in this seasonal masterclass.
You’ll be learning about 4 different game meats – and making dishes and accompaniments with each one:
Pigeon has enjoyed a revival in restaurants over the last few years and typically falls into two categories; squab pigeon and wood pigeon. The former are young, plump and farmed. The latter are, on the whole, wild birds. Although available all year round, pigeon is considered to be at its best between October and January, when its rich, gamey taste makes it an ideal companion for earthy autumnal ingredients such as mushrooms, cobnuts and winter root vegetables. In the same way that orange is a natural counterpoint for duck, cherries and other sweet fruits can perform a similar role with pigeon. The sweetness of the fruit balances the bird’s rich flavour.
Dish: WILD PIGEON WITH PICKLED CABBAGE SALAD
Quail is a small game bird and part of the pheasant family. Quail has a delicate and sweet gamey flavour that is best not overpowered by very strong flavours. Instead it lends itself well to light salads and spring vegetables. Its lean meat makes it an excellent alternative to chicken. For such a small and lean bird, quail is very versatile in the ways it can be cooked. The easiest and most traditional is to roast them whole in the oven. They are delicious when cooked on a barbecue. The legs can be cooked slowly in oil or duck fat, a process known as confit. Quails are usually farmed and therefore available all year round. It is important to get large or jumbo quails, making sure they have plump breasts and unblemished skin.
Dish: CHERMOULA QUAIL WITH GREEN BEANS & PISTACHIO MARINADE
Pheasants are a ubiquitous sight in the English countryside, with the male cock’s vivid and varied plumage, and the female’s subdued yet no less attractive colouring. It is hard to believe the fowl is actually a foreign species, with breeds form the far east being introduced by Phoenician traders. Its status as game birds is longstanding, with the pheasant season beginning on the first of October and ending the first of February. Once the birds are hung for three days after the hunt, their feathers plucked and bodies gutted, they make for a fine meal. The mild gamey flavour combine excellently with seasonal quarry such as chestnuts, apples, squash, mushrooms and celeriac.
Dish: PHEASANT WITH WHISKEY & PEPPERCORN SAUCE
We are so privileged in the UK to have such an abundance of game, and as cooks we should embrace the variety and quantity available. Venison refers to the meat of a deer, most commonly roe and red in the UK. It is classified as game and can either be farm or park reared. Venison is a red meat, similar to beef but lower in fat and with a high iron content, as a result it can dry out quickly if overcooked, so rare and well rested is the way to go. If you like your meat more than medium rare, venison loin is best avoided, instead opt for braised shank or shoulder. Venison is quite expensive so as a treat it makes for a perfect dinner party ingredient.
Dish: VENISON WITH PUMPKIN & COFFEE SAUCE
You will be sitting down to eat your dishes as you cook them, so no containers need to be brought to this course. All refreshments will be provided by us, as well as accompaniments for your dishes to provide a full lunch.
Event LocationThe Limpsfield Cookery School
The Old Printworks, High Street,
Limpsfield, RH8 0DR