Recipes to Impress Your Muddy Date

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

So, you’ve met someone on Muddy Matches and think it’s about time to invite them round for dinner…but how on earth do you impress a muddy date?

Fear not – Mark Gilchrist of Game for Everything has come to our rescue with three simple recipes; so simple in fact that even Lucy (who is no Nigella) managed to pull them off!

On the menu we have:

  • Roe Deer Carpaccio
  • Pan Fried Wood Pigeon with Beetroot Gratin
  • Chocolate Pots

Apart from pan frying the wood pigeon, everything can be done in advance, leaving you with plenty of time to relax with your date!

Roe deer carpaccio

(Serves 2)

This is very easy to do and extremely tasty. Our muddiest members may well have shot the roe deer themselves but, if that’s not your cup of tea, you could also ask your local butcher for some roe deer strip loin (sometimes called fillet).


  • 150g roe deer strip loin (or fillet)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • rocket leaves
  • 100g pecorino romano (or parmesan)
  • lime juice
  • olive oil


  1. Remove the meat’s outer membrane
  2. Cover your work surface with salt and pepper and roll the meat in it until it is thinly coated
  3. In a very hot pan, cook the meat for 30 seconds on each side
  4. Wash your hands (n.b. this is very important as you have been dealing with raw meat that is now cooked)
  5. Remove the meat from the pan, wrap in clingfilm and place in the freezer for 20 minutes
  6. Arrange some freshly washed rocket on a plate
  7. Very carefully slice the meat as thinly as possible
  8. Arrange the meat on top of the rocket
  9. Add some freshly cut cheese shavings
  10. Dress with the lime juice and the olive oil

Pan fried wood pigeon with beetroot gratin

  • For the beetroot gratin

(Serves 2 very hungry people)


  • 3 large potatoes (peeled)
  • 4 large fresh beetroots (peeled)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pint single cream (or enough to cover the potaoes and beetroot)


  1. Thinly slice the potatoes and the beetroots
  2. Place a layer of potato slices on top of a layer of beetroot in a roasting tin
  3. Season (very important!) and add a layer of cream
  4. Continue layering the beetroot, potatoes, cream and salt & pepper. If the potatoes and beetroots are not thinly sliced and tightly packed, you may find you need more than half a pint of cream as there will be a lot of gaps. Make sure the cream does cover the potatoes and beetroots or the top might burn.
  5. Place the dish in a preheated oven for 2 hours at 150C
  • For the wood pigeon

(Serves 2)

According to Mark, properly cooked wood pigeon is food for the gods.


  • 2 wood pigeons – shoot your own or ask your local butcher


  1. Remove the breast and legs from a whole bird, leaving the skin on. If buying from the butcher, you might want to get them to do this for you. If not, at the bottom of this post we have given you instructions as to how to do it yourself**.
  2. Heat some olive oil in a pan and cook the breasts skin-side down for 2 minutes
  3. Turn the breasts over to cook on the other side, add the legs and cook for a further 2 minutes
  4. Place the pigeon in the oven with the gratin (at 150C) for 10 minutes

To assemble the dish: get a pastry cutter, cut out a circle of your gratin and place it slightly off centre on the plate. Then lean the 2 breasts against each other and cross the 2 legs. Job done.


Chocolate pots

(Makes 2-3)


  • 75g cooking chocolate (min. 70% cocoa solids)
  • 1/2 pint double cream
  • splash of milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Break the chocolate up in a food processor
  2. Add the cream, milk and sugar to a saucepan and bring to the boil
  3. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate in the food processor and blitz it until all the chocolate has melted and mixed in
  4. Pour the mixture into ramekins and chill in the fridge for 2 hours

Et VoilĂ !