Our Top Ten Tips for game meat salads

by Robert Gooch July 31 2021

In the warmer months of the year, nothing beats a freshly prepared salad with crisp leaves, tasty tomatoes, crunchy vegetables and lean, nutritious and full-flavoured game. If you’d like to tuck into the perfect healthy wild meat salad made with pheasant, partridge, wood pigeon, wild venison or other wild meats, just follow our ten foolproof tips.

  1. Take any chicken salad recipe and replace it with pheasant, partridge or wood pigeon to instantly boost its flavour rating. Give it a try with Jamie Oliver’s epic roast chicken salad with green beans and sweet tomatoes, swapping the chicken for two whole roast game birds.
  2. If you have left over game meat from a previous day’s meal, give it new life with a zingy dressing and fresh leaves. Game can stand up to much bigger and bolder flavours than farmed meat, so recipes like Jamie Oliver’s game bird salad with horseradish dressing are a real treat for your tastebuds.
  3. A little game meat can go a long way in a salad, making game the ideal choice for everyone choosing to eat less and better. This recipe from The Field for thyme crusted venison fillet pan fried recommends slicing the meat as thinly as possible – meaning one of our wild venison haunch fillets could happily serve two people.
  4. Poaching the breast is a good way to stay in control of how quickly it cooks – you don’t want to overcook it and dry out the meat. For perfectly poached pheasant, follow the instructions for Jane Baxter’s Warm pheasant salad, which is jewelled with pomegranate seeds and scattered with walnuts.
  5. If you pan fry, grill or barbecue a breast or a fillet, marinate the meat for at least an hour or two before you serve it. Then remember to rest the meat so that the juice run out when you cut it leaving your meat dry. You can find more marinating tips and 5 marinade recipes in our blog.
  6. Complement pheasant or partridge with the sweetness of summer fruit for a satisfying seasonal dish. In late summer or early autumn, this recipe for spiced plum and venison salad is one of our favourites.
  7. Go foraging to add complementary wild flavours to your wild meat salads. Wild mushrooms, chickweed, mallow, yarrow, greater plantain, bilberries, blackberries and hazelnuts found in hedgerows and woodlands are all delicious with game. Just never pick or eat anything if you’re not absolutely positive you know what it is! If you’re knowledgeable about wild mushrooms, try this wood pigeon salad with wild mushrooms & Madeira vinaigrette.
  8. Leave out the leaves sometimes! If you want a night off lettuce, make beans, rice or grains the backdrop instead. On busy days, we love simple dishes like this wild rabbit and barley salad with caramelised russet apples, made with leftover cooked wild rabbit.
  9. Add a scattering of nuts for texture and crunch. Walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios are all delicious in salads, as are cashews, as used in this hot & sour mallard duck salad recipe from the Cook School, Scotland.
  10. Add some heat. The robust flavours of wild game are superb with hot and spicy salad dressings. We love this Asian venison salad recipe, in which venison striploin is marinated in a Thai style marinade with fish sauce, lime juice and fresh chillies before being seared and served with chopped coriander, peanuts, leaves, radish and cucumber.