Farm shop wins award for its game meat

©Oli Lees Photography

David Lay and Jo Lay were recognised for their efforts at the Eat Game Awards. - Credit: OLI LEES

A Suffolk farm shop which specialises in game meat has been recognised at an awards ceremony in London.

Maisebrooke Farm Shop in Shipmeadow near Beccles came in second place in the Best Small Game Retailer category of the Eat Game Awards 2021.

The awards marked the culmination of a national search to find businesses and individuals championing the use of British wild game. 

In total there were more than 11,000 nominations within the process, with the shortlisted businesses and individuals in each category going forward to be judged.

The ceremony, which was hosted by rural TV presenter Adam Henson, saw the winners of eight categories announced.

David Lay, owner of Maisebrooke Farm Shop, said: “All of us at Maisebrooke Farm were thrilled to make it into the top three of the Eat Game Awards and even more thrilled to make it to second place.

“It meant so much to us because we work very hard butchering game in a way that makes our customers more confident to cook with it.

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"Having the platform of the awards meant that we could see how much our amazing customers appreciate those efforts by voting for us.

"We are all very grateful to them all for helping us get there and so very grateful that they are all enjoying game.

"The Eat Game Awards is a wonderful way for even the smallest businesses, such as ourselves, to celebrate and promote what we do hand in hand with our customers, stalkers, local shoots and pest controllers.

"Thank you all very much for all your support.”

Annette Woolcock, Eat Game Awards co-ordinator and BASC’s head of wild food, said: “Maisebrooke is a great farm shop and David and Jo are passionate about seasonal products and game meat.

"They offer a wide range of fresh and frozen game meat and great information on how to cook game.

"In addition to this, they are fantastic advocates of promoting sustainable, locally-sourced game.”

Host for the evening, Adam Henson, who is also patron of the Country Food Trust, said: “The awards give game meat a platform from which its wide array of benefits can be showcased and from there it can be tried and enjoyed by a whole new audience."

Popular game meat dish - gamekeeper's pie

While the weather stays on the chilly side - gamekeeper's pie is the perfect option for a warming dish in the run up to Easter.

What's more, the mash-topped stew suits whatever game is in season and there is the option to add more mature meat for a stronger flavour.

Gamekeepers pie is a game meat version of the traditional shepherd's pie and the choice of meat to use is varied - with options to try out partridge, pheasant, rabbit or hare.

There are options with the recipe to use meat from the shoulder or tougher haunch cuts as well.

The hearty warming dish includes vegetables typically found in other stews and pies including onions, carrots, potato and mixed root vegetables.

The prep time for the dish takes on average 25 minutes with cooking time taking two hours and 15 minutes.

For a full recipe, method and ingredients check out the BBC Good Food Guide website here.