You might have heard that it is Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight. A celebration of Scotland’s fantastic produce taking place across the country with lots of exciting events happening.

We are so lucky to live in a country with beautiful unspoilt landscapes and clear air and water. We have some of the best natural produce in the world of which the Venison we use in our Charcuterie is only one example.

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Yesterday when we went on a family walk we came across these delicious Chanterelles. I love foraging for foods, it’s great to be able to pick natures harvest for free.

This morning I made this delicious dish. We used all Scottish Ingredients,

  • Local Chanterelles
  • Onions, garlic and chives from the garden
  • Cullisse Highland rapeseed oil
  • Chopped Wild Venison Chorizo
  • Scottish Cream
  • Homemade or local sour bread.

Sauté the onion and garlic in a little rapeseed oil for 2 minutes, then add the chorizo. When the chorizo’s are nice and crunchy add the chanterelles. Keep stirring until the chanterelles release their liquid. When you see the liquid appear, salt lightly and add freshly ground pepper. Then add the cream and let it simmer for a few minutes, add some more if the mixture gets too dry.  The cream will cook down and turn a lovely golden colour. 

Toast a few slices of bread and arrange the mixture on top, sprinkle with the chopped chives and enjoy.

Our Wild Venison Chorizo is available across the UK from many independent retailers hopefully somewhere near you too.

It’s Scottish Venison Day on the 4th of September. A great opportunity to celebrate this iconic Scottish Food. Venison is one of Scotland’s great natural products. It’s healthy eating qualities are unsurpassed.

We use wild venison which we sustainably source from local Estates in the Scottish Highlands. Our Venison Bresaola is our prime product. The best cut of meat has been used and it’s cured for months and then slightly smoked to get its delicious delicate taste.


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The Venison Bresaola is great to use as a starter and this is a delicious recipe for a celebration.

You need

  • packet of bresaola
  • Mozzarella
  • Ripe tomatoes
  • few basil leaves
  • good olive oil
  • crushed black pepper corns

Cut the mozzarella and tomatoes in thin slices and place them with the slices of bresaola on a plate.

Scatter the basil leaves over the dish and top with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of the crushed pepper corns.

Very easy to prepare, it looks stunning and tastes fabulous too.

to find out more about Scottish Venison, have a look on their website…

www.scottish-venison.info

When I visited Ardross Farm Shop last Saturday I was delighted to see Cracotti crackers on the shelf. Rachel from Cracotti had mentioned on Twitter that she sometimes uses our Charcuterie on her crackers. Unfortunately they are not sold in our area and I had never tried them before,  so I bought a pack of her Pecan & Sundried Berries, delicious double baked crackers.Image

We had some leftover soft cheese which we put on the cracker and topped with our thinly sliced Wild Venison Bresaola.Image

I wanted to add a fruity flavour to complement the Bresaola and Cheese and used Trotters Mostarda, which has a lovely fruity flavour and adds some spice too.

Trotters Condiments are a Scottish company who make delicious unusual condiments, I am a big fan of their Hot Pepper Jelly too.Image

The Canapés were delicious, I just managed to make a picture before they all disappeared….

It is exactly a year ago when we moved into Allt-a-Bhruais. It was a very exiting day after a very stress full time.

We lived in a rented house until then and had to leave by the end of September. We had found another house to rent, but only a week before we had planned to move it was not available anymore. We started to look for other houses to rent, but there was nothing available locally what would fit our family. With the deadline looming we were desperate and very stressed. 

Then one day a friend told us that a lovely house just outside the village had come on the market. We made an appointment to look at it and we immediately fell in love with the house and gardens. The house had been build in 1937 and designed by the eminent Edinburgh architect Ian Gordon Lindsay.

I had never seen the house as it is hidden from the road, but Jan Jacob had spotted it years ago when he was out stalking the hills behind the house. He came home that day and spoke about this beautiful house he had seen and how wonderful it would be if we could live in it. We found out who lived there and were told it was not likely they would sell the house.

It was quite amazing how it came on the market at a time when we were desperate for a house. So we put in an offer with only a week to spare and moved in the following week ! Luckily the previous owners were very happy to sell the house to us and willing to help us to move in very quickly.

We feel it was meant to be for us, and feel very blessed to be able to live in such a wonderful house with a great history.

We have always tried to use as much from the Deer as possible and trowing the lovely skins away didn’t feel right.

We send the left over deerskins to a tannery in Edinburgh where they vegetable tanned the skins and made it into lovely deer leather.  The first batch of leather came back when one of our children was just born and I made him a lovely pair of booties. Deer leather is renowned for its soft and durable qualities, and turned out to be ideal for the baby booties.  The design makes that the booties stay on and keep little feet warm !

I made some for friends, they all loved them and I soon started producing more and selling the booties to local shops. A lot of people bought them as newborn baby presents and they where send all over the world.  It was such a lovely idea to make something nice out of a waste product.

Unfortunately the tannery in Edinburgh closed down recently and I have not been able to find another tannery who uses the same natural process to make the leather.

I do have some small booties left, they will fit a newborn baby until about 6 months.

I am selling those last ones for £15.00 each. If you are interested to buy a pair, please send me an email at

anja@greatglengame.co.uk

Yesterday I picked the first flowers in our garden this year.  I love these beautiful pink and blue colours.

When we moved into this house in October the garden was starting to die down,  so this year is a going to be a big surprise for us. Bulbs are popping up in their thousands everywhere. Even the paths are covered with them.  We have heard that this garden used to be open to the public years ago and has a lot of very unusual plants.

It is very overgrown at the moment so lots of work to do. We just can’t wait to discover it and look forward to many more bunches of handpicked flowers from the garden.

We often get the question, How did you end up in Scotland and start Great Glen Game ?

It’s a long story, here it is..

It was in  2000 when we lived in The Netherlands and had just finished restoring an old farmhouse when we met a Dutch man who had just bought a Scottish Estate. He was looking for a manager to look after it, and after chatting to Jan Jacob, asked him if he would like to come to Scotland to work for him. Jan Jacob immediately said yes, even without speaking to me…. But we both knew this was a change not too be missed. We had always been dreaming about  going abroad, to a country where there was more space and more freedom.  Soon we had packed up and moved with our three little girls, who where 5,3 and 1 at the time.

We loved living on an Estate in the  Highlands.  Living and working in a rural, unspoiled part of the world was a dream coming true. Jan Jacob became involved in the management of the wild deer population and discovered this wonderful sustainable meat; the love for Venison was born. He soon started experimenting with the meat in  a hand build smoker in the garden. The smoked prime cuts of Venison soon became the favorite talking point when friends came along for dinner.

We knew we should turn this into a business. The old butcher shop in the little village of RoyBridge had been empty for years, it was owned by a friend and we where able to get a lease for the building. After some intensive refurbishment we turned it into a state of the art processing unit where we started trading in 2003.

Jan Jacob started producing smoked prime cuts of venison and over the years soon other products followed. Now the company makes a range of charcuterie  such as Chorizo, Salami, Pepperoni and their prime product Bresaola.

 

The first couple of years we still lived and worked on the Estate , but last year we found our dream house just outside the village of Spean Bridge. We now live only a few miles from the Butchershop in Roy Bridge.

We would like to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas time.  We are starting to relax after a hectic time. All the orders have gone now and it’s time to concentrate on our family and just enjoy.  There is still lots of snow which looks lovely,  it feels like living in a Christmas Card which makes this time even more magical.

We have been busy with the children over the last couple of weeks, making little presents for friends. We encourage our children to make things rather than buy presents, it is so much nicer to give something you have made yourself and also lovely to receive a gift someone has put time in rather than spending money on. Yesterday we received a beautiful little stocking hand knitted by a friend, filled with little chocolats, for our family. Such gifts fill you with warmth when you receive them, just thinking of the time and effort she has put into it, much better than a shop bought present.

We have been putting hampers together for our friends, with things we have made during the year. When we moved into our new house in October, one of the first things we did, was making apple juice with the apples in the garden. The house was still full of boxes, but this was more important….. We also made a batch of cider, which turned out really nice, we have now put some bottles of cider in the hamper, along with little jars of our first batch of Quince Jelly.  When we made our Christmas cake and pudding, we have also made some little ones.  All of these things with some nice homemade chocolats by the girls, gingerbread man made by the boys have come together in a lovely hamper. I hope our friends will enjoy. 

The good thing is that, we also receive some homemade goodies from friends, can’t wait for them to come in. It is always a surprise what will turn up at Christmas Eve. Anything is lovely and we will enjoy, I only hope they are not all bringing mincepies this year as we have made lots ourselves……

What ever you are doing, hope you have a wonderful time,

 

love  Jan Jacob and Anja Baak

 

 

We have been working at new recipes recently and come up with some really lovely canape recipes. They are all very easy to make, and some of the preparation can be done in advance.  I have done those at a recent food fair and they all went down really well….

Venison Salami Deli Wrap

100 g pack Great Glen Game salami

1 pack of 4 soft flour tortilla or deli wraps

1 200g tub cream cheese

1 jar cranberry relish

handful fresh parsley finely chopped

strips of roasted pepper from a jar or homemade.

Lay each deli wrap on a clean flat surface and spread with cream cheese. Spread the cranberry relish over the cream cheese and lay slices of salami onto each wrap. Finely chop the parsley and add the strips of pepper. From one side firmly roll the wrap into a long shape and seal with a roll of cling film twisting the ends of the film. Refrigerate for an hour or two. When you wish to serve, remove each cigar from the cling film and slice into rounds and serve. You might like to make your own version of this with different relishes, soft goats cheese, rocket salad or some pepperdew peppers.

Smoked Venison Tartlets

100 g pack Great Glen Game smoked venison

12 mini pastry tartlets ( or make your own with old bread, very easy to do)

4 tbsp chili Jam

4 tbsp creme fraiche

1 tbsp freshly chopped chives

black pepper

Spoon a little chilli jam into each of the tartlets. Top with a slice of smoked venison. Add a dollop of the creme fraiche and sprinkle with the chopped chives. Finally season with freshly ground pepper.

Hello this is our first post. We will be blogging about Great Glen Game, our products and also about our life in the West Coast of Scotland.

Just for you to get an idea of the people behind Great Glen Game.

We are based in the Highlands of Scotland, where we have just moved into an old house in a lovely rural setting. Our production unit is based in the Old Butchershop in the small village of Roy Bridge.

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