Accessibility links


Sign In
  • Home
  • News
  • Game on: grouse, venison and pheasant to feature on ROH autumn and winter menus

Game on: grouse, venison and pheasant to feature on ROH autumn and winter menus

Find out why these meats showcase the best flavours of the season and how to make game pie at home

By Albie Ray (Head of Hospitality, ROH Enterprises)

23 September 2015 at 12.00pm | 2 Comments

We know lots of our customers love game and appreciate its seasonality and health benefits. Our autumn and winter menus have an enticing array of new dishes featuring these popular options which we hope you will enjoy.

Venison is a particular favourite. It’s very lean with a more interesting flavour than beef. Our chefs, who source the meat from Ashdown Forest and Denham Estate, will be pairing it with other characteristic autumn treats.

This Season, we’ll be serving venison carpaccio with celeriac and chestnuts in Balconies restaurant and venison tartare with frisée and blackberry vinaigrette in the Amphitheatre. Join us for Le nozze di Figaro in the Amphitheatre and you can also enjoy roast saddle of venison with butternut squash and juniper sauce.

September is the ideal time for grouse. The birds are bigger and more flavorsome than when the season starts in August. For traditional roast grouse with braised red cabbage and redcurrant sauce, book a table in Balconies for Orphée et Eurydice or Le nozze di Figaro.

If you tire of chicken from time to time, pheasant with its mild gamey flavour, is an excellent alternative. For Romeo and Juliet in the Amphitheatre restaurant, we will be using roast pheasant to give the Caesar salad a seasonal twist. For Ariadne auf Naxos, in Balconies, the roast breast will come with grilled shallots and Calvados apple.

Another dish to try is roast Norfolk quail with watercress salad and hazelnut vinaigrette. Quail does not strictly qualify as game. They are not indigenous to Britain and don’t much like our climate, however they do have a light, sweet game flavour that is more complex than chicken or turkey. Our quail are ethically farmed to conservation standards near Fakenham, then dry plucked and hand finished for superb quality.

Many of our game dishes are taken off the bone, or made into ballotines for easy eating. This means we can also produce wonderful game pies, terrines and pâtés. This winter enjoy Royal Opera House game pie at Eugene Onegin, as well as during afternoon tea, when we will be serving miniature versions with Cumberland sauce.

If you'd like to try making one yourself, here is our chefs’ recipe simplified for home kitchens:

Game pie
Makes 8 individual pies


250g mixed game meats, such as partridge, pheasant, venison, wood pigeon
100g pancetta
100g minced pork
100g chicken livers
4 juniper berries
2 sprigs thyme
50ml cream
50ml brandy
2 teaspoons salt
2 whole eggs
1 packet ready-rolled puff pastry sheets


  • Dice the mixed game meats and put them in a large bowl. Mince the pancetta and add it to the game along with the minced pork. Chop the chicken livers and add them too. Mix all the meats together well.
  • Lightly toast the juniper in a dry pan then chop or crush it finely. Pick the leaves from the thyme sprigs and finely chop them, then add with the juniper to the meats.
  • Add the cream, brandy, salt and one of the eggs and mix well.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Take the pastry sheets and cut 16 discs about 15cm in diameter. Roll the meat mixture into eight balls approximately 75g each and place in the middle of the pastry circles.
  • Beat the remaining egg with a touch of water and a pinch of salt to make an egg wash and lightly brush around the edge of the discs with meat on them.
  • Cover with the remaining pastry circles, being sure to remove any air bubbles, and press to seal firmly.
  • Brush the tops of the pies with more egg wash and transfer them to baking sheets.
  • Bake for 18 minutes or until the pies are cooked through and the pastry is risen and golden brown.

Royal Opera House Restaurants have a wide range of menus designed specifically to complement each production on stage. Find out more about the menus and dining options.

You can add a restaurant reservation to an upcoming performance up to 72 hours before depending on availability. To make a reservation go to your Account.

By Albie Ray (Head of Hospitality, ROH Enterprises)

23 September 2015 at 12.00pm

This article has been categorised Off stage and tagged Ashdown Forest, autumn menu, Denham Estate, food, Game, grouse, Le nozze di Figaro, menus, Orphée et Eurydice, pheasant, Romeo and Juliet, venison, winter menu

This article has 2 comments

  1. Dear Albie and co. Lovely article but the first sentence should say 'appreciate' rather than 'appreciative'. Thought you might appreciate the heads up

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 28 September 2015 at 10:57am

      Hi Catherine,

      This has been amended. Thank you for flagging.

      ROH Content Producer

Comment on this article

Your email will not be published

Website URL is optional