Game: a cookbook
By Trish Hilferty and Tom Norrington-Davies
Absolute Press, £25
Trish Hilferty and Tom Norrington-Davies are two of the keenest game cooks around. They love it for being incredibly tasty, natural, healthy, cheap and local.
Their passion for game in all its forms - furred, feathered and fish - shines through in the 270-odd pages of this comprehensive tome, which would be a useful addition and an inspiration to any professional kitchen.
As well as plenty of useful tips for storing and jointing birds and beasts, and scaling, filleting and preparing fish, there is a plethora of ideas for cooking and serving game.
As you would expect from two chefs who have made their mark cooking no-nonsense hearty food from the British Isles - Hilferty is currently at the Anchor & Hope in Waterloo, London, while Norrington-Davies works at its sister establishment, Great Queen Street, in Covent Garden - the book is full of traditional casseroles and roasts, pies and terrines.
So, as well as recipes for rabbit braised with prunes and beer and classic roast woodcock, there are also instructions for making a raised partridge pie and a pheasant and ham terrine. Everything you need for serving game is also here, including stuffings, sauces, pickles, trimmings and gravies.
But the book goes far beyond indigenous recipes, with plenty of suggestions for dishes from further afield. Alongside chermoula-grilled swordfish steaks from North Africa and wild boar shoulder in milk from Italy, there is a host of recipes from the Far East. Murgh-style guinea fowl from India, Indonesian-style roast wild duck and rabbit in Thai yellow curry, among others, will provide plenty of options for more adventurous cooks.
While there are plenty of individual pictures of various feathered creatures, as well as of completed dishes, the one thing that could have boosted the usefulness of this book would have been an image of all the different game birds together to help with identification.
No matter that the season is now over for most game birds, as there is still time to enjoy furred game and fish for a few months. This book will be useful for any chef wishing to expand his or her game repertoire.