The guys from Mr Blanc.com have released the second part of the story they wrote on yours truly, from a recent visit they made to our little old school house home.
Read it here.
Again thank you Cory and Raynor for choosing me as a subject to study.
Image: Cory White
I’ve been out for a few days with Nick, a new hunting mate and his two amazing dogs, Jack and Louie.
We walked over many wet field, the dogs getting on point once they’d hook a whiff of quail, and then we’d flush and shoot.
I’m sure we walked many a mile, because by the end of the weekend my legs were weary from lifting them over the long wet grass and my arm was sore and tired from carrying my big Lanber 12 gauge. This season there isn’t as many birds around, so Nick regaled me with stories of his hunts last season. There was a seemingly endless supply of quail.
But this year, whether it’s the availability of the right agricultural habitat the quail prefer, or maybe it’s the weather no one can be sure, but we are sure that there just isn’t as many birds. Same goes for ducks. But that often signals a big year the next season. Nature is a fickle beast. Like a woman, she’ll make her mind up as she pleases. She keeps us humble men on our toes. I kinda like that.
She certainly did keep us on our toes with the wild winter weather. We had gale force winds and squally rain at times. You could see the spray of shot from the gun move in the wind and hit the grass a little off to where you aimed. At night when we hunted hare and rabbit, Nick almost disowned his .22 in disgust. It seemed to be no match for the ridiculously strong wind. Thankfully I took my .22 Magnum, which seemed to handle the wind a bit better. I bagged 3 hare and 2 rabbits. I’ve already cooked a pork sausage and hare tenderloin bean brew for breakfast. A meal fit for a hunter warming up for working a very cold day.
The simple things. Brilliant. Encouraging. Heart warming.
I’m booked in for a quail shoot soon and I can’t wait, it’s like Christmas for me. If I’m lucky I might bag a few more ducks and possibly a hare. But in the meantime I’ll cook what I have in the frozen larder already. I cooked some lovely quail and instead of wrapping the little legs in prosciutto or jamon I used a sopressa salami and now have a new favourite baked quail leg.
A lot of people turn their noses up at quail and consider it nothing more than a fancy restaurant dining bird. Their loss really. I think it’s one of the best tasting wild birds available, and better than duck in many respects. The meat is more succulent and requires far less cooking time.
I have people complain that the bird is too small and requires too much effort to get the meat off. Oh diddums!…So my solution is simple…I do the work for the lazy complaining eaters. I’ll roast a few birds, shred the meat off and pop it in something like a ragu or basic pasta sauce. This time round I made a tomato/red wine based ragu with some of my garden veg, I added the roasted quail meat and simmered for a good few hours, topping up the liquid when it looked dry. I also added some white beans to give it a bit more ‘meatiness’ to the sauce, then served it with some fluffy couscous. The customers seemed happy with the meal. Maybe I’ll make it again.