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A Game Experience at The Jugged Hare:
We are already a huge fan of The Jugged Hare in the City of London. It’s the perfect place to eat game – and at this time of year, somewhere worth knowing about. In addition to operating as a restaurant, The Jugged Hare, along with others in the ETM group, has a stellar programme of events running all year round.
Kicking off the game season this year was the curiously named ‘Murphia Games’ – an event which brought together four of Ireland’s finest chefs to work with The Jugged Hare’s own resident chef, Rafael Liuth, presenting a five-course game dinner with wine pairings. It would have been churlish to turn down an invitation and we turned up to a packed room and sold-out event feeling very privileged to be there.
Ana Haugh from Myrtle kicked off the evening with a wild venison and cep purée and a tiny game roll that was delicately earthy and moreish.
It was paired with the Albariño Te Awa, Left Field, Gisbourne, New Zealand 2016, which provided a beautiful minerally mouthful to complement the food.
You may remember that we tried a 2018 Left Field Albariño as part of a recent food and wine pairing dinner – an excellent pairing for a salmon terrine. The slightly older bottle was a little more rounded and an excellent choice.
Hare Pithivier from Marguerite Keogh (currently head chef at Five Fields) was a delightful starter – the kind of dish I wish I could make myself. Crisp, buttery pastry complemented the melting hare. The wine pairing here was, for me, less successful. The Merlot Les Moulines, Herault, France 2017 just didn’t seem robust enough to match with the rich gamey pithivier.
The star dish of the evening, roast breast of Yorkshire Grouse with fermented parsnip gratin, poached pear and grain granola was utterly delicious. The work of Richard O’Connell (executive chef at Tom’s Kitchen), I’m impressed by the restaurant’s ability to serve a group of 50 + diners with such fine quality food, especially when it involves rare meat, a truly innovative fermented parsnip gratin (which we all loved) and some beautiful plating. And if I could just have the recipe for the fermented parsnip gratin, please…
The Sancerre Rouge, Tabordet, Loire valley, 2017 was another excellent pairing and actually a wine I don’t remember trying again. 100% Pinot Noir, it had a lovely smokey taste with hints of cherry, plum and bramble. Deliciously smooth, I’d have ordered a bottle given half a chance!
The first dessert was a delicious if unlikely-sounding duck fat treacle tart with sheep’s milk ice cream from Kevin Burke, the head chef at Castlemartyr in Ireland. Our wine pairing here was the Disznoko Tokaji Azu 5 Puttonyos, 2013. I love Tokaji wines and found this particular excellent glassful rather a diversion from the food. Honeyed notes with toffee and cream and just a hint of tea and tobacco, it was the perfect end to the meal.
Of course, it shouldn’t have been the end of the meal but my companion had a long journey home and we ran out of time so missed Rafael Liuth’s own dish of Bosworth ash mousse with damson and ratafia chutney and foraged yarrow leaves. That just gives me an excuse to go back though doesn’t it?
I’m very impressed by the quality of food at the Murphia Games Dinner and believe it offered exceptional value for money. The five-course menu with paired wines was priced at £85.
There are two more game dinners at The Jugged Hare priced at £85 for five courses with matched wines and a superb sounding New Year’s Eve Gourmet Dinner for just £90 which must be one of the best value offers in the City.
- Game and Bordeaux Wine Gourmet Dinner at The Jugged Hare on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st November
- New Year’s Eve Best of 2019 Gourmet Dinner at The Jugged Hare on Tuesday 31st December
Check here to book or find out more
And, it’s also worth checking out the Aviary Igloos launched on Monday 7th October which run until Saturday 29th February 2020. Nick from the London-Unattached team has been along to review The Aviary and we’ll be publishing his feature very soon.
Meanwhile, if you are looking to make your own game dinner, why not try my recipe for Pheasant with Mushrooms in White Wine Sauce.