Former minister, food lover and keen amateur cook Norman Tebbit is hoping family mealtimes could be transformed thanks to a new edition of his book, The Game Cook.
The revised, updated and redesigned book, with many new recipes, showcases the former MP for Chingford’s favourite game dishes, including pheasant, partridge, duck, grouse, deer, rabbit and more.
The book was inspired by a conversation in a butcher’s shop, before Lord Tebbit moved to Bury St Edmunds.
“I stood in the butchers one day and asked ‘Why do people pay more for a tasteless chicken than for a proper bird like a pheasant?’. And he replied that it was mostly because people didn’t know how to cook them. I thought I would do something about it,” said Norman this week, adding that his maternal grandfather was a butcher and that he learned about cooking game at his mother’s knee.
“We were a pretty hard-up family before the war, but of course a rabbit sometimes came cheap, particularly if it had been well poached,” he said.
“If you compare the life of a pheasant to a life of a battery chicken – the chicken has never seen the light of day or breathed fresh air, while the pheasant has had a life, he has flown and foraged for food and he may have even started the next generation of pheasants. It is a totally different life and I think that’s reflected in the quality of the meat.
“Game is such good food, and I am a foodie.”
All the recipes are tried and tested, with the one cooked most frequently in the Tebbit household being the partridge with pears and blue cheese (‘Which is really great’), or the traditional French way of pheasant ‘a la Normande’, which is with apples and cream (‘It’s good for the cholesterol!’).
The book has an easy-to-follow style, as well as a guide to game, advice on equipment and conversion charts.
- The Game Cook is published by Grub Street on August 31, costing £14.99.