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Our favourite cookbooks

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

With such a wide range of delicious meats and cuts to choose from, we know that you will have your own favourite recipes in mind when your Rule Water delivery arrives. But as farmers and food lovers, we thought it would be fun to share some of our own favourite meaty cookbooks with you, some of them are purely about cooking venison, whilst other showcase game and some celebrate all things meat!


We hope that our cookbook suggestions will provide you with some useful tips and information about cooking with venison and game and will inspire you to try some of the wonderful recipes too.


Here are just some of our favourites………….



Ultimate Venison Cookery

by Nichola Fletcher

The title really means what it says - this is the ultimate venison book from award winning food writer Nichola Fletcher.

A delicious book to savour as well as an eminently practical venison manual. No ordinary cookbook, Ultimate Venison Cookery shares Nichola Fletcher's lifetime of experiences cooking with venison, including preparations. Fletcher eloquently explains why venison fits so perfectly into the modern lifestyle: Free range, healthy, lean, and full of flavour, it makes sensational rich dishes. It is also perfect for light, quick cooking, simple and succulent.

More than just a recipe book, this is a really good read, crammed with ideas and information and beautifully designed.

The Venison Bible

by Nichola Fletcher

Forty years of experience are condensed into this pocket-sized book. Nichola Fletcher offers tips on how to cook venison (grilling, roasting, barbecuing, braising, slow-cooking) and also explains different kinds of venison (wild, farmed, red deer, roe deer). In addition to a host of inspiring recipes, covering both the much-loved traditional approach as well as some exciting contemporary dishes, she also includes recipes for sauces and useful ideas for vegetable accompaniments.


Venison: The Game Larder

Venison is experiencing an unprecedented growth in popularity with the British public as a delicious, healthy and increasingly available dish. Here are over 50 innovative recipes from Senior chef/Lecturer in Culinary Arts at Westminster Kingsway College, José Souto, the game expert who gives masterclasses on preparation and game cookery to other chefs worldwide, as well as teaching a new generation of student chefs how to cook venison. José has added to his own repertoire of 30 dishes by inviting guest chefs to add their own favourite venison recipes, opening up a wide range of dishes, from simple venison lasagne to elegant dinner-party show-stoppers as well as smoking and curing venison recipes.


Not just a cookery book, this is a celebration of deer: in stunning pictures, world-renowned photographer Steve Lee showcases British deer, deer-stalking and the delight in harvesting natures bounty, with a breath-taking array of shots.


The Claire MacDonald Game Cookbook

by Claire MacDonald

Once the prerogative of country dwellers, game is now found in butchers' shops and supermarkets all over the country. Yet despite this, many people are still apprehensive about cooking this extraordinary versatile, varied and protein-packed meat. In this book Claire Macdonald de-mystifies game cooking, with a wide and varied selection of recipes for pheasant, wild duck, partridge and snipe, woodcock, venison, hare, wild boar and wild salmon. In addition to tips on roasting, she also includes useful information on what combines well with different types of game - lentils, beans, root vegetables, dark green vegetables and mushrooms - and sauces and jellies that make excellent accompaniments. She also shows how game can be combined - game pie, for example, can be composed of pheasant, grouse, a leg of hare or a partridge. Similar recipes include game pudding with a lemon and thyme suet crust, game stock, game soup, salami of game, game terrine, game with an oatmeal crumble, potted game with walnuts, and game shepherd's pie.


Game: River Cottage Handbook No.15

Game offers some of the most intense, delicate, rich and varied meat around. And not only is it delicious, it can also be a healthy and more nutritious alternative to traditional red meats. Here, Tim Maddams gives an accessible guide to obtaining, assessing, preparing and cooking game, including pheasant, grouse, venison, partridge, hare, rabbit, boar and duck.

Tim begins by describing the characteristics of game species, then discusses ethical and sustainable hunting, preservation and seasonality. Next he gives a step-by-step guide to skinning, feathering and butchering techniques (and if you don't have a fresh supply, how to buy game meat). Lastly he shares his seriously tasty recipes from the River Cottage kitchen, such as Slow-roast spiced soy duck, Quick-smoked duck, Lasagne of game and wild mushrooms, Partridge with pumpkin and cider, Goose sausages, Gamekeeper's pie and Roasted hen pheasant with all the trimmings.


Tom Kitchin's Meat and Game

by Tom Kitchin

Tom's passion for game, and his ability to transform that passion into irresistible ways to enjoy it at home, is fully celebrated within this beautiful book. Venison, partridge, pheasant, grouse, rabbit, hare and all things wild find their way into fantastic roasts, full-flavoured pasta dishes, terrines and warming soups, richly flavoured pies and puddings and so many more. With every recipe there comes a fresh new way to treat much loved classics; Roast Pheasant with Cabbage and Apple Salad, Partridge and Game Pie, Rabbit au Vin, Roast Rack of Venison with a Blueberry and Juniper Crust, Pigeon, Lentil and Spelt Burgers, Pheasant and Partridge Scotch Egg, Hare Cannelloni and the Ultimate Grouse Sandwich are just some of the essential gamey recipes to try out and enjoy. And then there are Tom's glorious recipes for all things meat; Roast Crisp Pork Belly, Oxtail Soup with Cheese on Toast, Blackened Chicken Tacos, Braised Lamb Shanks with Lemon Confit, Steak and Kidney Pie, Roast Topside with all the trimmings, Smoked Ham Hocks with Hot Pineapple Salsa, these are recipes to savour and return to time and time again.


The Hairy Bikers' Meat Feasts

by Si King and Dave Myers

There is something about the smell of meat cooking that signals a feast - it's savoury, comforting and tempting. A steak on the grill, a roast in the oven, a casserole bubbling: they make your mouth water.

Si King and Dave Myers, aka the Hairy Bikers, have always been passionate about meat, and this bible is an unadulterated celebration of the fine produce we have available today. Meat Feasts includes all their favourite recipes and some new surprises. There are family classics, spicy treats, perfect pies and delicious zingy salads.

With Over 120 Delicious Recipes, this is a meaty modern classic, Meat Feasts is your one-stop meat cookbook.


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