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Smoked woodcock

Mark Hinge serves up a tasty summer combination of game and broad beans

Ingredients for this smoked woodcock recipe

  • Woodcock •
  • Broad beans •
  • Olive oil •
  • Smoky bacon •
  • Garlic • mushrooms •
  • Lemon • pepper


  1. The woodcock has to be smoked under a lidded barbecue or in a purpose-built smoker. To make the smoke, just add wet wood or wood chips. It should take about two hours, but check throughout. After smoking, preferably leave it in a fridge overnight and slice very thinly to serve cold.
  2. Quickly boil/blanch your broad beans in water for one minute then remove and fry them immediately in olive oil and chopped bacon. Add two cloves of roughly chopped garlic and sliced mushrooms and continue to stir. Add a good grind of pepper and the juice of half a lemon. Stir for about five minutes in total.
  3. Serve the beans hot (or cold, if preferred) with your smoked, sliced woodcock. I add some grated lemon rind as well, just to give a summer lift to the taste and to draw out the game flavour.

Smoking game in a barbecue is very much trial and error, but the important thing is to keep the smoke going by adding wet wood chips, even twigs, to the coals. You need smoke, not flame, so keep the lid firmly on. Keep your game off the metal grids I use a DIY suspended skewer system between two bricks. Make periodic checks during the smoking process. I didn’t add salt to the bean mixture as the bacon was salty enough. If you are taking game from the freezer, make sure it is thoroughly defrosted before smoking. Finally, take any washing off the line!