If you've got time on your hands because you can't go out in the field, take this opportunity to enhance your game cookery skills

So you’ve cleaned your gun, waxed your jacket, practised your gun mount in front of a mirror. What next to keep you busy during Lockdown II? Improving your game cookery.

meat smoker

You can make a smoker from an old biscuit tin

1. Make a hot smoker

It’s a delicious way and time-honoured way to cook game, venison and fish outdoors in your garden. If you’ve always liked the idea, now’s the time to do it.  Tim Maddams shows you how in a step-by-step guide and advises on the wood to use and how to cure the meat.

biltong

Homemade biltong

2. Rustle up some biltong 

Biltong is basically dried venison and it makes a useful and delicious snack to have in your pocket when you’re out in the field. Here’s a quick way to make it.

Cider brined pheasant

Cider brined pheasant

3. Soak in brine 

Brining has always been around but it’s grown in popularity in recent years as chefs have embraced this centuries-old way of keeping meat moist and tender. As you’d expect from the name, a brine is a salty liquid that works a bit like a marinade. Here’s a recipe for cider brined pheasant to start you off.

Game stock soup

4. Stock up on stock 

It’s time to make some batches of pheasant stock for the freezer. Remember you can freeze the bones of a pheasant carcass in the freezer for use in the future. (Here are some tips on freezing game by the way.) Using the bones of game birds adds flavour to soups, casseroles and risottos and a good cook will always have some homemade stock to hand.

Here’s Rose Prince’s straightforward pheasant stock recipe.

venison sausages

Venison sausages

5. Sausages, sausages

Make your own homemade sausages and you can choose exactly what goes into them. If you’ve always meant to but lacked the time then this is your opportunity. You don’t need to be an amazing cook or have specialist equipment – just a way of mincing the meat and getting it into the casing. (You can buy natural sausage casings online here.) As you get more experienced you can adapt sausage recipes for your game cookery by adding your own choices of herbs and spices. Here’s a recipe for homemade venison sausages.