Book of the week: Feathers, The Game Larder

Venison: The Game Larder lit up the traditional game cookery market and here comes the latest book from chef José Souto and top photographer Steve Lee, sharing their passion for pheasant, duck, grouse, woodcock, geese, pigeon and other game birds.

This beautiful book showcases more than the 55 modern, international recipes from master game chef José Souto and his culinary friends including Michel Roux Jr, Simon Hulstone, Phil Howard, Mark Sargeant and Brian Turner as they are the beauty of game birds in the field, from source to plate.

Chef José’s combined love of fields ports gives him an insight into the best way to harvest, store, prepare and cook the birds.

1. how to pluck, clean, de-bone, truss, fillet and stuff game birds
2. smoked, barbecued and outdoor recipes
3. step-by-step butchery
4. 55 modern, international, simple and sophisticated recipes from sloe gin game pie to pheasant tikka

Feathers, The Game Larder is out this month, £25, published by Merlin Unwin Books

Smoked mixed game bird terrine with pistachios & dried apricots

Serves 15 in a large terrine mould

3 smoked pigeon breasts
2 smoked pheasant breasts
2 smoked duck breasts
3 smoked partridge breasts
250g corn-fed chicken breast, diced
1 egg white
250ml double cream
150g peeled pistachio nuts
100g dried apricots, cut in half
3 sheets of gelatine
100ml cold water
250g serrano ham, sliced

Take all the smoked breasts, remove skin and cut them diagonally so that you have two pieces of each breast. Before you make your chicken mousse, ensure that the bowl to your food processor and the blade are both cold and that the chicken and cream are also cold.

Place the diced chicken in a food processor and blitz to a fine paste. Still blending, add the egg white. You will notice that the mix splits and starts to whizz around the bowl but give it a minute or two and it will mix in.

Stop the mixer and scrape down all the bits from the sides of the bowl then give it another pulse to ensure all is well mixed and there are no lumps.

Take two bowls the same size. Place ice in one and sit the other on the ice. Now add the finely minced chicken to the top bowl. Carefully add one third of the cream to the chicken and mix. Once mixed in, add another third and mix well before adding the remaining cream, season with salt and mix well. Halve the mix and place into two disposable piping bags and place in the fridge.

Brush a terrine mould with a little oil all over the inside.

Lay a large piece of cling film into the mould and push it down into the corners, getting it as smooth as you can. The oil will help you do this. Ensure that the cling film is large enough to overlap by 10cm on each side of the mould so that once it is full you can wrap the ends over the top of the terrine to seal it.

Pipe a small amount of mousse into the base of the mould, onto the cling film, and spread it out carefully. Layer some of the smoked game bird breast onto the mousse with a sprinkle of the pistachios and some of the apricots. Press down lightly to ensure there are no gaps. Pipe some more mousse on top of this and again layer the smoked breasts with the nuts and the apricots. Repeat until you reach the top of the mould.

Wrap the ends of the cling film over the top of the mould so that they fold over in a neat way, sealing the top of the terrine.

Pre-heat oven to 150°C. Cut out two pieces of stiff thick card the same size as the top of the mould. Wrap the two bits of card together with cling film. Place this card onto the neatly-folded cling film on the top of the terrine then place the terrine lid on top. Wrap the whole thing tightly in cling film.

Put the terrine in a deep roasting tin and half fill with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the terrine mould. Place in an oven at 150°C and cook for 1 hour 10 mins. Remove terrine from the water and allow to cool before refrigerating overnight.

The next day remove the cling film from around the outside of the mould. Remove the card and, holding onto the edges of the folded over cling film, carefully lift and prise out the cooked terrine. Place on a tray but do not remove the cling film from the terrine itself just yet. Place in a cold fridge or in a freezer while you do the next stage to get it as cold as you can, but not freeze it.

Take the gelatine and place in 100ml of cold water in a pan. Break it up so that it softens in the cold water. Once soft, warm the water and gelatine mix so that the gelatine melts and you have a liquid. The next stage will be to wrap your terrine in serrano ham.

Lay out a large piece of cling film and place slices of the serrano ham across the cling film, each slice overlapping the previous slice by 1 cm until you have a sheet of serrano ham as long as the terrine mould. Then start another row of serrano ham in the same way but this time overlapping the original row by 4cm.

Take the terrine out of the fridge / freezer and carefully remove the cling film from around it.

Brush the ham with the gelatine mix. Lay the terrine on its side at the edge of the bottom row of your sheet of ham, pressing it down on the ham. With the ham attached, roll the terrine along it so that the ham covers the outside of the terrine. Use the cling film to help you lift and roll the terrine as you go. Wrap the terrine in the cling film tightly 6 or 7 times and return to fridge so that the gelatine sticks the ham to the terrine.

After 20 mins, with the cling film still attached, trim the ends of the terrine and discard then cut the rest into portions about 1cm thick. Remove the cling film and serve with a salad or chutney.

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