At Vale House Kitchen, we love good British produce – and something we’re really passionate about is venison, which is gloriously abundant in the British Isles (there are almost 2 million deer living here!) and yet really under appreciated. Not only is it absolutely delicious, but it’s surprisingly healthy too – it’s lean, rich in protein and iron, and is even thought to contain substances that help your body fight off cancer and heart disease.
All of our venison comes from the local Wellow Estate, where we also do our shooting days with head gamekeeper Dean. Although it’s not for everyone, we believe that if you eat meat, shooting your own is a crucial part of being connected to where your food comes from – it’s our way of showing respect to the animals, and making sure they have both a good life and a good death. We’ve spent plenty of time in the wild, beautiful Scottish Highlands, learning to stalk and shoot, and our very own Bod is about to take his Deer Stalking Certificate, so we’re serious about doing this right.
Our Venison Butchery & Cookery Day is run by expert chef and cookery teacher Tim Maddams, who will take you through the essentials of skinning and butchering a deer carcass, and then give you a lesson on how to prepare the meat for the best possible results. After all that hard work, you’ll be pretty peckish, so the day ends with a delicious three course meal.
We’ve known Tim a good while and we’re in no doubt about his expertise, so we’re delighted to be hosting the launch of his new book, The River Cottage Game Book, on the 31st of July here at Vale House Kitchen. This isn’t just a recipe book – it’s a guide to the whole world of game, from the ethics and sustainability behind it, to the preparation and cooking of pheasant, grouse, venison, partridge, hare, rabbit, boar and duck – which brings together all of Tim’s experience in one deliciously indispensable volume. You can pre-order the book now on Amazon or if you’re planning a trip to Vale House Kitchen soon, we’ll have plenty of signed copies on sale.