So I cook quite a bit of venison…
Whilst it may be expensive in the shops, I am lucky enough to be in a position where I can procure my own venison – yup – that’s a nice way of saying that I hunt and am proud to be able to put prime quality, free range meat in my freezer. (see also this Rabbit recipe).
Now I fully understand that some people don’t like the idea of hunting and find the whole thing distasteful – but if you’re in that group, and you’ve viewed some of my meat based recipes without feeling that same level of distaste, I ask you one thing… Where do you think meat comes from?
I remember many years ago the feeling I had when I took my first deer, bleeding and gralloching the beast in the field and then bringing the carcass in fur back to my larder (my shed actually) and hanging it with pride whilst I built up the courage to skin and butcher it. That first deer – a small Muntjac buck – took me hours to prepare for the freezer but the sense of satisfaction was immense.
I thought that magical feeling would lessen over the years but I was wrong. Each and every deer I take has meaning – I am after all getting very up close and personal – and taking a life – but for a very good reason. Food for the table for my family.
Sadly, 21st “man” (and woman) has all but lost that natural hunter / gatherer instinct and I feel truly honoured that I am able to put such high quality, sustainably sourced meat on the table.