Game to Eat

 

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE

A tasty and healthy alternative to Lamb, Chicken, Beef or Pork

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Interview with Andrew Millward owner of The Smoked Game Company

 

1)    How did you got into the wild game business?

 The Smoked Game Company is based in Jedburgh, the heart of the Scottish Borders. The company was started in December 2014 as a result of my years managing rural sporting enterprises in Europe and beyond, where I developed a wide ranging knowledge of the preparation and cooking of wild game.  The process was fascinating and before starting the business, I spent a long time experimenting with different types of native wood for smoking wild game and various brining techniques with which to further enhance their flavours. I continue to source only the best quality game from local estates and game dealers.

 

 

2)    Where does your enjoyment of wild game stem from?

The pleasure in working with wild game for me is that I know its origin and know that they have lived a free range life. As a gamekeeper, game was always readily available. I was able to use lesser cuts of meat to prepare dishes for the shoot helpers during the shooting season. I developed a love for cooking and experimenting with game meat, for example, slow cooking venison or wild boar stews in red wine while working in France. Equally, pheasant or partridge fajitas were also a favourite at this time. Damaged birds breasts could be cut around and simply cut into stripes and rolled in fajitas spices, pan fried and served - this was a fun way to cook with friends.

I always thought there must be other ways to add different flavours to make game more attractive for a wider range of people and that is how I got into smoking.      

 

 

3)    Why does smoking wild game work so well?

The first smoked pheasant I tried was hot smoked by a friend who lived 20 miles away I enjoyed the meat so much I ended up eating a whole bird on my way home in my Land Rover!

Since then I have designed and made various different smokers to experiment with hot and cold smoking, and eventually came up with the products I make today.

My preference is the cold smoking process as it both tenderises the meat and keeps it moist. The brine followed by a long cold smoke also reduces the strong gamey flavour which can be overpowering. 

The brine half cures the meat so cooking time is halved which also allows quick and easy preparation.

 

 

4)    Where do you sell your products?

The Smoked Game Company range can be bought online from our own website www.thesmokedgamecompany.co.uk, the products to date include; smoked pigeon, pheasant, grouse, mallard and partridge breasts, smoked venison steaks and marbled game terrine.

 

 

5)    What is your favourite smoked game recipe?

I love to serve the game, in particular the pheasant breasts, with seasonal vegetables and a raspberry jus. I start by boiling new potatoes, asparagus and peas in the pod or broad beans, while they are cooking start preparing the jus by popping fresh raspberries into a pan with some sugar and gin, and reduce.

Pan fry the smoked game for a few minutes on either side then leave to rest in a warm oven while draining the vegetables.

To serve I like to half crush the potatoes add butter and seasoning, finely cut the game into stripes and add on top of the potatoes, lay the asparagus in a stack and peas alongside and finally drizzle the raspberry jus over the meat.

 

 


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