The onset of autumn shouldn’t be met with an abundance of nostalgia for the heavenly days of summer. Nor should we dive headfirst into our onesies and start knocking up hearty stews and casseroles. Because autumn has an identity of its own, its own palette of flavours and ingredients to stand up to the plethora of produce from summer and the comforting consumables of winter.
Game season begins in earnest in September and many restaurants will be featuring the likes of pheasant, partridge, quail, grouse, wood pigeon and venison on their menus throughout the autumnal months. Gamey meats tend to offer a richer, more muscular flavour than some of the more commonly eaten meats – though, it is worth saying that there is a world of difference between the flavour of quail and the flavour of venison, for example.
Pub lunches and dinners come into their own in the cooler months; the comforting aromas of sausage and mash or shepherd’s pie offering a treat to soothe the chill of the outside world. But if you don’t fancy venturing outside, check out some of our best autumn recipes for you to try out at home.
Autumn is the time to make the most of those fruits offering a fuller, mellower flavour. The likes of apples, plums, damsons and pears not only make great dessert ingredients but can be used in savoury dishes as well. And then there are blackberries, tart and slightly bitter these purple jewels are often picked and enrobed in a homely crumble. And, blackberries can also be used in main courses – pair them with grouse for what feels like the perfect evocation of seasonal cooking. See, autumn’s not so bad, is it?