Woodland luxury, fine dining in the bush.

Social media outlets are spammed day in day out with a Birdseye view of restaurant grade meals, 'foodporn' has became an industry in itself. We compete to outdo each other daily: to gain the most likes, the most shares retweets. When was the last time you  just ate your damn food? cooked something you caught? cooked fresh, not supermarket fresh... FRESH

I always enjoy cooking with friends, or cooking for friends. I think its a remarkably social thing to do, a great way to share ideas and have fun. A big glass of red wine in the kitchen filling the bellies of loved ones.

When I eat with my friends, it is a moment of real pleasure, when I really enjoy my life
- Monica Bellucci

I've made numerous friends through the world of bushcraft and survival, through social media, in local forums and more recently at a local bushcraft and wilderness group only short trip from my hometown. Some of the most decent blokes I have ever been lucky enough to spend time with can be found up at Northern Wilderness Bushcraft

Visits to Northern Wilderness Bushcraft moots often include a group meal on the Saturday night, which does not disappoint. I know it something I look forward to!


The menu consisted of:
- Pheasant stew with shallots, sweet potato in a honey and red wine stock
- Grilled pheasant legs
- Spit roasted rabbit stuffed with garlic onions and shallots

Tell me that doesn't sound amazing? I can tell you now the description did not do the finished dishes any justice at all. This was without a doubt one the nicest meals I have been lucky enough to be part of in the wild.

Pheasant isn't actually native to Britain, but has been native in the UK since around the 15th century, although there have been various possibilities of them dating back to being source dating back to the Roman times. They are found mostly on the edges of woodlands although most people tend to see them as a bird found deep in woodlands. Conservation of the pheasant is important so these were caught in a controlled area with strict permissions in place.
In the 1980's they overtook the grey partridge as the main game bird, accounting for more than 55% of overall game bird being bagged.


The rabbit meat was unbelievable. This was a first for me, but I will certainly be eating it again, it had an incredibly gamey taste, hard to pin down to a commonly eaten meat. 

The pheasant was served in two ways: firstly we had grilled legs, the remainder of the bird (the breast mainly) was stewed in a pot with a mix of vegetables. 
I absolutely loved the stew, the meat cooked absolutely perfect. They took in all the flavours of the seasoning. I would eat this dish every night if I had the option to.

I will not eat the legs again! they were just full of needle thin bones, it was an absolute nightmare to get a real bite of anything without having to excavate bones from my mouth almost immediately. Although they were tasty from being chargrilled, their just wasn't enough on their for me.


If this is something you haven't tried, do it! This was one of the most amazing tasting meals I have ever eaten in the outdoors, was it amplified by the fact I was sat with a group of like minded people? Probably
Sat around the warmth of the fire laughing, joking and sharing stories about adventures we had all had was the perfect accompaniment to such an outstanding feast, washed down with a bottle of red wine I couldn't have asked for a more amazing setting.

Thomas

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