Thursday, 7 March 2013
The Food Of Gods
This is an image of one of my favourite meats. Yes it's venison. Although not a cheap meat it's rich texture means it fills you much quicker than chicken.
Nick Collins of the Telegraph is suggesting more of us ought to eat venison because more than half of Britain's deer population needs to be culled every year because of the damage they do to the environment.
The problem is its cost. Suppliers keep the price high and thus consumption is low. Around here is usually easy to find venison because farmers want rid of the results of their share of culling, but the problem arises with the butchering. The old-fashioned butchers who would prepare a carcass are long gone and modern butchers refuse to accept carcasses with no provenance. A catch 22 situation.
However, a small portion of venison from a reputable dealer is rapidly becoming far more appealing to me in comparison with chicken which has, until recently, been a firm favourite. I'm more aware that when I buy chicken I have little or no idea in which country it started its life. Labelling conveys little because the EU refuses to allow retailers to state whether the meat is halal or not. Now I approach it from the angle that all chicken is halal, except the organic free range ones I can order locally. A four pound chicken from that source costs in the region of £10-£11 and provides a meal for four. For £11 I can buy a couple of venison steaks, a pound of cubed meat to use in a casserole and a couple of venison burgers - and know which hills the beasts roved before being culled.
However, more informative labelling is also needed with regard to genetically engineered foods. Some Americans appear to be far more ahead of the game in this matter and we need to start questioning too.
Ask your butcher if he can supply you with venison. A steak, grilled 3 minutes either side, with a crispy baked potato and some mashed turnip and lightly sautéd greens is the food of gods.