Annie Assheton's Christmas Game Canapés

To celebrate Great British Game Week, which runs from 25th November to 1st December 2019, we asked our celebrity cook, Annie Assheton, to prepare a selection of Christmas canapés using great British game ingredients.

Watch Annie prepare venison, pheasant and trout canapés in our latest video! You can view the recipes below.

Smoked trout and avocado croustade with capers and lemon zest
Makes 24

Ingredients
125g hot smoked trout fillets
1 tsp capers, drained and chopped
1 lemon, finely grated zest
250 guacamole
24 mini croustades

Method
Flake the trout into a bowl and add the capers and half the lemon zest.
Put 1tsp guacamole into each croustade and top with the trout mixture.
Finish each one with a pinch of the remaining lemon zest and some ground black pepper.

Smoked trout and avocado croustade with capers and lemon zest

Rare venison fillet with horseradish cream served on crostini or spoons
Makes 24

Ingredients
1 part–baked baguette
Rapeseed/sunflower oil
200g Venison loin, pavé or under fillet

Horseradish cream
100 ml crème fraiche
1 tbsp creamed horseradish (or to taste)
Squeeze of lemon juice

Chives or flat leaf parsley to serve

Method
Pre heat the oven to 180°C.

Cut the part–baked baguette into thin slices (you should get about 30) and brush each one on both sides with some oil. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking try and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown. Watch them like a hawk, they burn incredibly quickly and some of them might need to be taken out before others. Cool on a rack and keep them in an airtight container, in which they will stay crisp for 2 or 3 days.

Divide the venison into long thin strips, about 1.5” in diameter. Heat a frying pan until it’s very hot and while it’s heating up rub oil, salt and pepper all over the venison pieces. Fry each one for about a minute on each side until they are very well browned all over. Wrap them tightly in cling film to form sausage shapes, tie off the ends and keep in the fridge until needed.

Horseradish cream
Mix the crème fraiche with the horseradish, a squeeze of lemon and some salt. Taste and adjust the flavours as necessary. Put the mix into a squeezy bottle or a piping bag.

To finish off, take the venison out of the fridge, remove the cling film and slice thinly. Pipe a blob of horseradish cream onto one end of each crostini then place a piece of parsley leaf and a slice of venison against it. Alternatively sit a slice of venison on top of each crostini and top with a piped round of horseradish and piece of parsley.

Rare venison fillet with horseradish cream served on crostini or spoons

Pheasant bonbons
Makes 24

Ingredients
120g meat from 3 confit pheasant legs
60g pheasant breast, diced
60ml double cream
15g breadcrumbs
25g egg, beaten
1 tbsp rosemary, very finely chopped
Flour, egg and breadcrumbs, for coating

Method
Pick the meat off the pheasant legs, discarding any skin, fat and bones. Chop very finely and put into a big mixing bowl. Put the breast meat into a blender or mini chopper and blitz. Add the double cream and blitz again to make a really smooth mousse.

Mix the mousse with the finely chopped confit and add the breadcrumbs and beaten egg as well as the finely chopped rosemary. Mix very well so it is all thoroughly combined.

Form into balls using 10g of the mix for each one. Chill for an hour at least and then coat each with flour, beaten egg and then breadcrumbs. Chill again and finally deep fry in small batches at 190°C for 20 seconds or until golden brown. Leave on kitchen roll to cool and then keep in the fridge or freezer until needed.

When you’re ready to use the bonbons defrost if necessary and then re-heat in the oven at 180°C for 8-10 minutes.

These are delicious served with an onion cream, using rosemary stalks as skewers.

Pheasant bonbons

Ian Welch

A freshwater biologist by training I drifted into angling journalism and am now Farlows Group marketing manager. A hopelessly inadequate fly angler (the team are hoping to put that right.) I have fished all over the world and am now most at home fishing for River Test grayling, River Ebro catfish, Indian mahseer, or battling giant freshwater stingray on the Thai rivers. Away from my rod I do a bit of shooting and a lot of fruit and vegetable growing!