Venison is a truly wild and environmentally friendly food that is good for consumers to eat and good for the environment too. In this week’s newsletter I am looking at the wonders of home grown venison.
A couple of days ago I listened to an excellent edition of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme this week that featured eighty-six-year-old Fergie MacDonald who remembers shooting deer as a nine year old boy. The Second World War was on, and food was scarce in his home village in the Scottish Highlands. Today he's still eating venison, but it comes from animals by his son John, who is a deer manager and stalker.
Venison is a wild, healthy, lean meat from animals that have led a fantastic freely roaming life. Organisations like the Woodland Trust use environmentally unfriendly plastic tree guards - because there are so many wild deer – to protect the trees they plant from grazing deer. Responsibly managing deer population is a good idea all round.
So it makes enormous sense for us to eat more of this amazing meat and at Lidgates we are proud to have a brilliant range of venison choices from our Venison fillet to our Venison Pie. We are particularly proud of our handmade Venison Sausages - a dark and rich sausage made with fresh venison, and a little free range pork, seasoned with herbs and spices and marinated in merlot with crushed juniper berries and diced venison from selected Yorkshire pastures which is perfect for casseroles and stews.
In Gloucestershire, the environmental problems caused by large deer herds are critical, according to leading campaigner and deer manager, Mike Robinson. He says that numbers have got out of control and he estimates that there may be nearly 3 million deer in England, mainly fallow, roe and muntjac and that stricter controls are necessary.
As well as managing deer, Mike Robinson is a chef and restaurateur with several award-winning restaurants. He specialises in wild food and recently launched The Wild Venison Project – an initiative to get more chefs across the UK to put venison on their menus and to persuade the public to buy and cook it at home. He has a great website with lots of recipes to try.
Do have a look at our wide range of venison dishes – a healthy, environmentally friendly and delicious meat.