Rucksack Foodie

Eat good – Live well – Enjoy life !

A Taste of the Wild Side

One of the many reasons I decided to revisit Ireland this month was to attend the annual Game Night Dinner at Dolly Mitchell’s Pub, and was it ever a night to remember !

Over 300 filed through the Game Night buffet line held in the barn behind Dolly Mitchell's Pub in Rossin Ireland (a wee spot on the road out in the countryside)

Over 300 filed through the Game Night buffet line held in the barn behind Dolly Mitchell’s Pub in Rossin Ireland (a wee spot on the road out in the countryside)

Winding my way through the back hall of this century old roadside pub, crossing out the back door and into a barn with fresh sawdust on the floor and rows of checkered cloth lined tables i found delicious smells of smoking venison, wild game stews and currys keeping warm. Watching a few men hurrying about preparing menu cards, lighting chaffing dishes and preparing for the hungry masses gathering out front in the pub. With over 40 dishes filling up the buffet line, a full deer on the smoker, and endless kegs of Guinness this was definitely a night not to be missed!

All the meat was gathered and dishes prepared by Club Members in the spirit of good neighbourliness and a positive gesture in the name of Shooting Sports in Ireland.

All the meat was gathered and dishes prepared by Club Members in the spirit of good neighbourliness and a positive gesture in the name of Shooting Sports in Ireland.

An annual tradition organised by the local Shooting Club this night allows its members a chance to promote it’s recreational cause of wildlife management through  game shooting by inviting the land owners and general public to a member catered feast of fresh game dishes and good ole Irish ‘craic’!

Ireland has strict gun ownership laws and to own one is a privilege. With few predators in Ireland along with a strong agricultural industry, controlling wildlife is an important component of Ireland’s economic well being with some €42 million accounted for from game shooting.

This annual end-of-season feast saw the likes of pheasant, rabbit, pigeon, woodcock, red deer, wild trout & salmon, eel and snipe prepared in all ways and tastes from the exotic to the traditional . The hunting season in Ireland spans September through January, so by February everyone’s bagged plenty of birds and rabbits to enjoy with the neighbours. This

Unfortunately I was too busy serving up trout and visiting to capture a picture of Mark Gilchrist frying fresh eel but here is a "borrowed" pic from the web. Tap pick to take you to it's link origin.

Unfortunately I was too busy serving up trout and visiting to capture a picture of Mark Gilchrist frying fresh eel but here is a “borrowed” pic from the web. Tap pick to take you to it’s link origin.

special night also plays host to the culinary talents of UK’s young celebrity chef and game expert Mark Gilchrist of “Game For Everything”, who spent the evening preparing fresh eels traditionally pan seared in nothing but its own skin. The freshwater eel we enjoyed was personally transported down from Lough Neagh in North Ireland, by Mark a third generation fisherman. The eel is naturally very oily, according to Mark the fisherman the only and best way to prepare is with the skin-on eel meat filleted open along the bottom, deviened washed and patted dry then laid in a medium hot dry pan and seared in its own oils. The eel begins to pull away from its skin, and the natural oils fill the pan, the end result being a delicious and flaky white fish reminding me of the Crappie (pronounced ‘croppie’ ) back home that my mom and dad fish to no end out of Mark Twain Lake in Missouri.

The dishes were extraordinary and the crowd more than willing to queue up for almost an hour and snag a sample of each exotic dish. Once the pots were emptied and bellys filled, the pub was bursting at the seams with laughter and community till the wee hours of the morning! Enjoy the few pics below and visit back in a few days as I am anxiously awaiting a few pictures taken by others to share .

I jumped in and lent a hand serving up fresh salmon and wild brown trout.

I jumped in and lent a hand serving up fresh salmon and wild brown trout.

Not for sure what was in it but it was DELICIOUS!

Not for sure what was in it but it was DELICIOUS!

Here's our friend Wacky (see previous post 'For Meat Lovers Only...Vegans Beware' for more about Wacky, shooting sport club member and game preparer extraordinaire !!)

Here’s our friend Wacky (see previous post ‘For Meat Lovers Only…Vegans Beware’ for more about Wacky, shooting sport club member and game preparer extraordinaire !!)

All generations enjoyed the evening of fabulous food and community.

All generations enjoyed the evening of fabulous food and community.

Getting ready for the masses!

Getting ready for the masses!

A little domestic taste from artisan buther Peter Whelan's local Whole Hogg Farm. The smoked thin sliced duck and pigeon was the BEST, exotic beef jerky ...and the pressed Ox tongue was surprising VERY good ( I'm almost ashamed to say it would have been fabulous between two slices thin sliced sourdough with aged Gouda and good ole' miracle whip!)

A little domestic taste from artisan buther Peter Whelan’s local Whole Hogg Farm. The smoked thin sliced duck and pigeon was the BEST, exotic beef jerky …and the pressed Ox tongue was surprisingly VERY good ( I’m almost ashamed to say it would have been fabulous between two slices of thin sliced sourdough with aged Gouda and good ole’ miracle whip!)

Old friends gathered.....

Old friends gathered…..

....and new friends were made. (Disclaimer: none of the 3 of us have double chins near this bad in person but we did seem to be double-fisting the pints an awful lot!)

….and new friends were made. (Disclaimer: none of the 3 of us have double chins near this bad in person but we did seem to be double-fisting the pints an awful lot!)

Another shot of the great folks enjoying the Game Night.

Another shot of the great folks enjoying the Game Night.

This fabulous traditional band entertained the Hundreds that were packed inside the pub.

This fabulous traditional band entertained the Hundreds that were packed inside the pub.

Dolly Mitchell's Pub, don't blink or you might miss this charming pub somewhere along the road between Drogheda & Slane, Ireland

Dolly Mitchell’s Pub, don’t blink or you might miss this charming pub somewhere along the road between Drogheda & Slane, Ireland

Some more of the delicious dishes served out. Wish we would have gotten more pictures of dishes!!! Ug...

Some more of the delicious dishes served out. Wish we would have gotten more pictures of dishes!!! Ug…

If you have a taste for the "wild side" start making plans to journey to Ireland next February for Game Night!

If you have a taste for the “wild side” start making plans to journey to Ireland next February for Game Night!

8 comments on “A Taste of the Wild Side

  1. Anonymous
    February 19, 2013

    ugh, that sounds unbelievably good! And I bet most of it is gf, too. Heaven for me! What do they serve with all this meat?

    • Rucksack Foodie
      February 19, 2013

      It was an ALL Meat kinda night! If it was stewed, simmered or sauted with veggies or a starch then it was just meat!!

  2. Petra Haynes
    February 19, 2013

    Ugh, that looks and sounds amazing! And I bet most of it is gf! Do they serve anything with all this meat other than beer?

    • Rucksack Foodie
      February 20, 2013

      Ummmm…cider, and maybe a whiskey chaser or two, Carlsberg ….but mostly Guinness round these parts! (Someone did hand me a bottle of Miller too…eww!!, but beggars will not be choosers!
      )

  3. Chris Bunce
    February 19, 2013

    Wow! This looks like a crazy fun party!

  4. Michelle
    February 19, 2013

    Looks amazing!

  5. Rucksack Foodie
    February 20, 2013

    Fun for sure! It was definitely one of the top 5 nights so far on the trip!!

  6. petersillustration
    February 22, 2013

    Awesome! Great photos!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Archives

%d bloggers like this: