The British game season begins every year on the Glorious Twelfth of August, which is the first day of the year that grouse are allowed to be hunted.
There are legally-enforced breaks in the hunting season each year to allow the birds’ population to rebuild and stock up after the previous year.
For grouse the season began on 12th August and will end on 10th December. The next birds that came into season were Partridge and Mallard on 1st September, and those are available until 31st January.
Grouse live predominantly in Scotland and the North of England, and ours are from shoots in Yorkshire. Various country estates and farms host shooting parties, which are organised to start at dawn and then continue throughout the day.
There is always much excitement and competition in getting the first grouse back to London on the evening of the 12th August, as top restaurants clamour to have it on their menu as soon as possible to meet the demands of their foodie clientele.
Grouse is a small bird which serves one comfortably as a main course, and it has very dark, full-flavoured meat. Grouse is traditionally served with bread sauce and game chips, which are deep-fried thin slices of potatoes. Grouse also goes very well with fruit-based sauces such as Cumberland sauce which is made from port and redcurrants.
Partridge has a milder flavour than grouse and because of it’s more widely-eaten; in fact partridge is the most popular game bird in the UK.
Partridge are best served one per person, but they can dry out whilst cooking so it’s best to cover the breast with a slice of streaky bacon before roasting, which will help keep it moist.
Mallard are wild ducks, and they are one of the larger game birds which will feed two people.
Cook them on a rack over a roasting tray to drain off the excess fat, and use the fat to roast potatoes to serve alongside it – delicious!
Keevil and Keevil are one of the largest game dealers in London, and over the game season we’ll have thousands of birds through our doors.
As well as supplying private customers at home, we supply many wholesale clients, and you’ll often find our grouse, partridge and mallard in your local restaurant or butcher’s shop.
Keep an eye on our site because we’ll have each game bird in stock as they come into season. We have grouse, partridge and mallard available to order now, and pheasant will be available from early October, as the season starts on 1st October.
14th September 2017