The Game Cook Book

This is not a book about games, nor does it imply that the cook is game for a laugh. The subtitle gives us more information; these are recipes inspired by a conversation in a butcher’s shop, about the cheapness and flavour of game, and the fact that most people don’t know how to cook it.

The surprise author of the Game Cook Book is one Rt. Hon. Norman Tebbit, a keen amateur cook. Now, while not signing up to Mr Tebbit’s political views, I think on the whole he is not a man who would misinform his readers. The book was a present from our neighbours and friend, perhaps to help us explore the cookery of the various creatures that can be shot and eaten locally.

This is an extreme version of being a locavore. The helpful introductory paragraph adds more detail. Mr Tebbit was always interested in cooking. When his wife was injured and crippled in an IRA bomb attack, he became the main cook. He lists many of my favourite recipe books as his inspirations.

In recent years, Britain’s attitude to food has changed. In a world that is becoming more eco-aware, ‘organic’ and ‘corn fed’ meat is gaining popularity at the expense of immoral, processed food. And yet strangely, ‘game’ – strictly speaking any bird or animal living wild, which is hunted for food – remains on the fringes on many people’s diet. Many people would rather pay twice the price at a supermarket for a comparatively tasteless chicken.

Tebbit, a keen amateur chef, uses The Game Cookbook to showcase his favourite game recipes featuring pheasant, partridge, duck, grouse, woodpigeon, woodcock, deer, rabbit, hare and more. Whether the recipe is a relatively simple casserole or a more challenging creation such as pheasant with apples and cream or rabbit with white wine and mushroom, Tebbit’s easy to follow style produces consistent results. The book also includes a concise guide to game, advice on kitchen equipment, handy conversion charts and individual hints on the various game included.

We have now tried a couple of recipes from the book, including a fine recipe for pigeon with cabbage and wine. I think it would also work well with goose, so we have to test that as well before I log it on this website. Having this book, I feel prepared for whatever should be brought home late at night by amateur hunters. I have to add that this is mostly rabbits and geese, and while to book has many recipes for rabbit, the goose has been ignored. I am going to try some of the other pigeon recipes with goose before I report back.

Final Score: Highly commended.

The QUICK After-Work Vegetarian Cookbook

My copy of the Quick After-Work Vegetarian Cookbook is so old the binding is going, and the pages are getting a little yellow. To my shame, I only ever made two recipes in it; Mexican rice, and cheesy polenta. I have recently tried some of the other recipes and they have been excellent. The ingredients are generally easy to source locally, and the cooking techniques are easy too. There are over 120 recipes to choose from, including such classics as Fettucine with carrot carbonara, and Balaton Hotpot

I hadn’t realised, until I searched online, that this is one of a series of books, including an Indian version, one for summer ingredients and another for the winter. I am tempted but my recipe book collection is rather large. Although the recipes aren’t glamorous, they are tasty and filling; I would say that this would be an ideal first recipe book for any vegetarians, as they head off for pastures new. 

Moro, the cookbook

I was excited when this book was published, a collection of recipes from Spain, North Africa and the Levant. The ingredients are simple, and the recipes are easy to follow. The flavours are outstanding. 

The story behind Moro, the recipe book is a tale of two people both called Sam, a husband and wife team who own Moro restaurant in London. They were already in love and inspired by Moorish influences on the food of Spain and the Mediterranean, so when they married, they took a camper-van and went on a food adventure, researching techniques, flavours, and the culture that brings the food to the table. 

In 1997, they opened their first restaurant in London, and in 2010 they opened their first tapas bar, Morito. They also have a news page on their website that occasionally showcases other recipes. There are other recipe books as well, since this first one: Casa Moro, Moro East and Morito. 

I was so excited to visit, can’t remember the year, but I can remember that I had their outstanding Seville Orange Tart. There are several of their recipes on this site from the first book, but you’ll just have to get your own copy.