I say recipes – I almost don’t want to. One is simply a great way of cooking with these sausages, and the second is a quick salad that will go with them if your chucking them on the barbecue.
But you might not want to. These sausages will work with a squirt of mustard on a hotdog bun. Sure they sound fancy, but the idea behind the products from Wild and Game is to take away some of the idea that game has to be fancy. That it’s something just limited to country estates, or pubs in the country.
I grew up in the burbs. First (I’m only counting the bits I remember) in Derby, and in Manchester. The only time as a kid I came across game was when my dad’s boss hit a pheasant with his car (allegedly) and he brought it home for him and my mum to eat. I remember seeing it once, it being taken away and, well, that was it. I don’t remember seeing it again, which pretty much means I didn’t get to try any and my mum and dad scoffed it.
So when I got older, and more interested in food, it was a bit mystifying. I mean I knew from books and from the telly what it tasted like, that venison had a rich deep flavour, and pheasant was quite mild, if dense in texture, and that wild boar was like pork, but concentrated.
When I wanted to try it, I went for the easy option. Pie, burgers, sausages. There’s no change to cooking than when you cook normally, so it’s easy. No worrying about how long to leave it, whether it needs to be pink or not, it’s easy. And that’s why Wild and Game have released a range along the same lines. The hard work is already done for you. You just get to pop stuff on the barbecue, or in the oven, and you get to try something new, or just look fancy with no effort.
Take the pies for example. Pop them in the oven, and serve with chips, or buttered new potatoes and peas. Easy. And I mean, who doesn’t like pie?
My first recipe for these products (and there will be more) was simply down to chance. Remember the Batch Hop Vodka from yesterday? It arrived just a I was going to pop the pheasant and pear sausages in the oven. One taste and an idea popped into my head. The vodka is fresh, and citrussy, with a bitter finish, perfect to layer in with crisp Williams pears, and the aniseed flavour of fennel. So I braised these sausages with a little, and it was a bit delicious.
Braised Pheasant and Pear Sausages with Fennel
An easy, throw-in-the-oven til it's done recipe
- 1 pack Wild and Game Pheasant and Pear Sausages
- 1 Williams pear
- 1 Onion
- 1 Small fennel bulb
- 70 ml Batch Hop Vodka Dry Vermouth/dry white wine as an alternative
- 100 ml Chicken stock Cube or Stockpot is fine
Preheat the oven to 190°C, Gas Mark 5.
Using a sharp knife, slice the fennel, the pear and the onion thinly.
Layer them into the bottom of an oven proof dish.
Pour over the stock and vodka. The stock will add salt, and the sausages are seasoned, so you don't need to add salt. Grind a little white or black pepper over if you fancy.
Add the sausages.
Pop into the oven for 25 minutes or so, turning half way through if you want to brown them all over. (They'll cook fine without you faffing over them).
Remove and allow them to rest for five minutes.
Serve with gravy and mash, chips and peas, or new potatoes and veggies.
Even Mr GFB who is not a fan of fennel enjoyed the whole dish, I was simply a little more sparing with the fennel on his plate.
Of course, sausages are also perfect for a barbecue. So a simple salad to go alongside them will fancy them up a bit if you’re showing off (or as I said before, just chuck them in a bun with a splodge of yellow mustard). So that’s what this salad is. Again it’s easy to chuck together, a little time will meld the flavours together before you serve it with the sausages and a hunk of sourdough or crusty bread.
Fennel and Pear Salad
- 1 Small fennel bulb
- 2 Williams pears
- 1 Bag of salad leaves Rocket or baby salad leaves are perfect
- 1 Small handful of mint leaves
- 25 g Toasted walnuts (optional)
For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp Cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Caraway seeds
- Salt and pepper
In a big salad bowl, put all the dressing ingredients and whisk until combined. Thinly slice the pears and fennel - a vegetable peeler or mandolin will give you a thinner strip/slice.
Add all the salad ingredients (except the walnuts if using) to the bowl and toss thoroughly.
Leave to one side/in the fridge for 10-20 minutes (or while the sausages cook).
Toss again and sprinkle with the walnuts just before serving.
I loved this salad, but kind of forgot to take a picture of it. It works really well with roast chicken too, something light and fresh, and a little bit different when you’re getting a bit tired of iceberg lettuce, sliced cucumber and a radish or two.
These two dishes are the first I’ve created with the treats we’ve been trying from Wild and Game, and whilst currently you can only buy from them directly, they’re hoping to appear in a supermarket near you soon.
I can’t wait.