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Autumn Recipes

Roadkill Rillettes 

Many overlook roadkill animals, mistakenly thinking it's somehow wrong and/or disgusting, sure, if it's crawling with insect larvae (extra protein...?) and stinking terrible, then I would opt to pass it by. A fresh roadkill on the other hand is a fine meal - or two - in the making. Regardless of the season, there will always be other wild ingredients growing and readily available to include and you may already have powders & preserves in stock too. Here are a couple of Roadkill Rillette recipes I created last year.  

#1 Hare Rillette Pear, Rosehip & Chilli Relish & Apple, Butternut Squash Chutney
I recently acquired another Hare & considering it was the second in as many weeks, I wanted to make something other than the divine Jugged Hare, like the previous one. I was chatting with my friend, Andrew, he'd recently made rabbit rillette. Rillettes are a coarse pate as opposed to the smooth textured pates usually gracing shop shelves.

Ingredients: (If you're unfamiliar with wild herbs try using: Thyme, Sage, Bay Leaf.

1 Hare, skinned & jointed
500g Belly Pork
1 whole head of garlic cut in half
Dried Ground Ivy
Dried Spignel
Dried Yarrow
Fresh Ground Pepper
Sea Salt
Ground Mace
Ground Mixed Spice

Place the jointed hare pieces, belly pork, garlic & a small amount of each of the herbs into a casserole dish with approx 250-300ml of water and place in a pre-heated oven, 200 degrees, for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the oven temp to 150 degrees and cook for another 2-3 hours, or until all the meat is very tender - the hare should fall away from the bone. Remove from oven and leave to cool. Pull all the hare meat off the bones, shredding it as you go along and place in a glass bowl along with the belly pork & then mix the two together very well until evenly distributed. Add salt and the various dried herbs & spices in quantities to your personal taste and combine well with the meats. Transfer the mixture to a container/kilner jar and cover with melted butter. Leave in the fridge for a couple of days to infuse the flavours and then serve.

Pear, Rosehip Vinegar & Chilli Relish 

2 Medium Conference Pears - peeled, cored and cut into small cubes (or others if you prefer)

1 Large Shallot - chopped very fine
2-3 Tbsps Sweet Rosehip Vinegar (I had made this prior to making the rillettes)
Chilli Pepper - chopped very fine

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring up to simmer point on a gentle heat and simmer gently for 4-5 mins, remove from heat and leave to cool (You can eat the relish while it's slightly warm - it's up to you). Rosehip Vinegar recipe:

#2 Pheasant Rillette

Found a brace of very young fresh male pheasants on my way back from Scotland. Made this Rillette with the legs.

4 Pheasant Legs
2 Rashers Fatty Organic Bacon
Red Onion
Pickled Wild Garlic Bulbs
Sundried Apricots
Ground Nigella Seed
Ground Ginger
Black Pepper

Confit the pheasant legs in duck, goose fat or a combination of the two, at 80C for approx 2 hours, leave to cool and then strip meat from bone. Chop bacon into small pieces & fry off, once cooked add pheasant to pan to soak up the fat, remove from heat and place in a bowl to fully cool. Fry the onion, garlic until soft and then add a good dash of port to the pan and reduce until thick and syrupy, cool and add to the meat. Very finely chop hazelnuts, sun dried apricots, wild garlic bulbs and add them to the meat along with the various spices until your happy with the flavour. Combine all ingredients very well. Butter a loaf tin or other container, place the mixture in, cover with clingfilm, press down using another container that fits snug and leave for 24/48 hours to infuse. Serve however you want to. I served mine with crackers, fermented wild garlic, quince paste & a sticky fig chutney. Play about with the ingredients you add and see what you come up with. 


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