Seasonal Eating Ideas: March

by Robert Gooch March 08 2018

March certainly came in like a lion this year and, for many, will go out with a delivery of lamb in time for Easter Sunday. But what else will should we be eating this month to make the most of March’s seasonal ingredients?

Venison stew with nettle dumplingsMany game seasons are now closed but there are still plenty of delicious fresh game options to pair with the last of the winter crops and early spring fruit and vegetables.

Out with the old, in with the new

The transitional month of March is the last to enjoy many winter vegetables at their best, including Brussel sprouts, parsnips, celeriac, chicory, kale, and leeks. It’s also the time to savour the first fruits of spring and verdant spring vegetables, including spinach, sorrel, spring onions, and purple sprouting broccoli.

Partners for wood pigeon 

Wood pigeon is plentiful throughout the year and its deep flavour goes best with bold ingredients from the winter and new season alike. For a simple supper, pop one of our whole oven-ready wood pigeons in the oven for 20 minutes or pan fry breast fillets in butter for a minute or two each side then serve with mashed celeriac and/or sautéed kale or leeks. Make a red wine sauce to finish your dish (you can’t go wrong with James Martin’s easy guide) or treat yourself and cheat with Potts Orange and Red Wine Sauce from our pantry.

Wood pigeon also pairs brilliantly with Jerusalem artichokes, salsify or parsnips, which are still very good this month. All three are excellent roasted, sautéed or fried. If you’d like to start cooking new season vegetables or fruits, buttery purple sprouting broccoli is a match made in heaven for wood pigeon, along with rhubarb, as demonstrated here by chef Mike Keen.

Fresh rabbit ideas

Wild rabbit is excellent all year round and hugely versatile. We love it served with buttered leeks and mustard sauce or used in a spring paella with spring onions

Wild rabbit also lends itself to many other continental dishes. We recommend poaching a rabbit and using the stock and chopped meat for a mouth-watering risotto. If you can find some new wild garlic leaves to add, even better.

On cold March days, wild rabbit is also delicious slow-cooked in stews and casseroles, especially when served with celeriac or swede.

Ways with venison

Venison is available throughout the year and you’ll find a great selection of venison recipes on our website to help you combine it with the season’s best produce.

If you’d like to try cooking wild nettles, now is the time. Make nettle dumplings for a hearty venison stew using this recipe from Gill Meller’s Gather or make a Scotch broth with venison, chopped nettles, barley and the last of the season’s turnips.

If you’re interested in foraging, you’ll find many young tender edible plants in woods and hedgerows throughout March. Take a look at the Woodland Trust’s website for pointers and don’t forget your field guide!

Share your seasonal eats

How will you be making the most of March’s seasonal ingredients and what are you looking forward to in April? Share your seasonal cooking pics or recipe ideas via twitterinstagram or Facebook (@WildMeatCompany).