Tim Maddams turns a tasty roe haunch into a rich, sweet and spicy chilli that is guaranteed to fire up even the most jaded of palates. Serves 4.
There is great pleasure to be taken from filling the fridge and the freezer with food you have provided. Whether that be shot game, foraged fruit or fungi, vegetables from the garden or herbs from the wayside, it is extremely satisfying.
Like many Shooting Times readers I jealously guard my portion of any bag, though I am generous should anyone want any, and it is not at all unusual to find me with a freezer full of home-prepared game. I like to store my shot game in the freezer for obvious reasons but I also like to get it used up sharpish, as before long the mackerel, trout and rabbits will need the space.
It is best to use things up in some sort of order. I vacuum pack all my game once butchered and freeze it in the bags to prevent freezer burn. Vacuum machines are widely available online, the only bugbear being that the bags are not always recyclable.
For this game chilli recipe I have used a lovely roe haunch and a bit of pork shoulder in place of a lump of bacon skin, but you can play as fast and loose with the fatty, gelatinous porky element as you like. The same is true of the game meat — use whatever you have but ideally not all pheasant, though that would not be the end of the world.
These go into a recipe that results in a rich, sweet and spicy chilli which can be served up with polenta, yoghurt, cheese, chopped cucumber and coriander. It is simple, satisfying and super tasty.
Now I know some of you will be thinking it is a shame to just chuck it all in a chilli and I hear you, but do not underestimate the depth of flavour that the game will impart and the warmth it delivers.
This is not simply a “use it up at any cost” recipe — it is an excellent dish in its own right.
Mac & Wild at Falls of Shin, Scotland opened last summer under the watchful eyes of founders, Andy Waugh and…
Freezing pigeons: I lost quite a few pigeons last summer because I didn’t get to the game dealer quickly enough…
- 1 whole roe haunch or two shoulders, on the bone
- 2 large onions, finely DICED
- 1 TSP coriander seeds
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 1 tSP fennel seeds
- 1 tSP cumin seeds
- 2 bulbs (not cloves) of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tBSP treacle
- 1 TBSP good sherry vinegar
- 1 TBSP smoked paprika
- As much dark chilli powder/chipotle paste/chilli flakes as you think you can handle — you can always add more but it Is difficult to tone it down once it is hot
- salt and pepper
- 2 tins good-quality tomatoes
- sprig of chopped thyme and rosemary5 fresh bay leaves
- 1 carton good-quality tomato passatta
- 400g cooked red kidney beans
- 1 TBSP pure cocoa powder
- 150g roughly chopped pork fat — or better still some rump fat from the fat fallow
- 100g piece smoked bacon skin
- 1 litre good stock — ideally game but chicken, beef or pork will do
- 200g sweetcorn kernels — frozen works very well, better than tinned
1. You could mince the game meat, but I prefer to chuck it all in whole and let it fall apart over the long and slow cooking time. Rabbit, hare or venison haunches I often add whole and remove
the bones later.
2. In a large casserole pan with a good lid fry the onions in a little oil, add the meat and cook for a few minutes.
3. Roughly grind the spices and add them along with the garlic, treacle, vinegar, paprika and chilli. Stir cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the tomatoes, herbs and passata and cook for 10 minutes. Add the beans, cocoa, pork fat or pork and bacon skin. Cover with stock and simmer for a minimum of four hours. Halfway through add the sweetcorn.
5. Taste regularly and top up with stock. Add chilli to taste. Ideally allow it to cool and then reheat as it adds flavour. Once cooked remove the bacon skin and bones.
6. Serve with soft polenta, yoghurt, chopped spring onions, cucumber and coriander and/or mint. Alternatively, try it with nachos, rice, baked potatoes, flour wraps or as a toastie with lashings of cheese.