Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Wilderness Festival 2014 Hunter Gather Cook

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

How to Cook Wild Rabbit with Hunter Gather Cook - Vice Munchies

Friday, 28 March 2014

Yukhoe - Korean Venison Tartare 육회


This Korean version of steak tartare was originally made with horse meat and more recently with beef. For best results the meat needs to be absolutely as fresh as possible. At Hunter Gather Cook this dish is made with venison fillet within a couple of hours of it coming off the deer so we have the perfect opportunity to make the finest of dishes.


10 Wild Garlic Leaves
1 Bunch of Three Cornered Leek
16 Edible Wild Flowers to Garnish ( Dog Violet, Wild Garlic Flowers, Three Cornered Leek, Primrose, Cuckoo Flower)
4 Sorrel Leaves


1 pound / 450g Venison Fillet
2 Pears
4 small egg yolks or 4 quails eggs
2 tablespoon pine nuts

Seasoning Mixture:

4 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon clear honey
3 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 tsp chilli powder

Wild mies en plas

Firstly the Venison Fillet should be put in the freeze for 1 ½ to 2 hours, this hardens it up slightly making cutting it thinly a lot easier.

For the seasoning mixture add the soy, honey, sesame oil, sesame seed, pepper and chilli powder to a bowl. Next very finely chop the Wild Garlic and Three Cornered Leek and add to the bowl. Stir well to combine and set to one side.

Yukhoe seasoning mixture
Fill another bowl with a cup of water and add a teaspoon of salt to it. This will keep your pears from browning whilst preparing the rest of the dish. Peel and julien the pear cutting it into matchstick sized pieces and place in the bowl of salted water until ready to plate up.

Take the partially frozen venison fillet and slice it in the same way as the pears. You want lots of tiny matchsticks of venison. Add the sliced venison to the seasoning mixture and stir well.

Making sure the venison fillet is free of any fat and sinue
To plate up make a bed of the pear sticks, take a serving of the venison and seasoning and place on top of the pears making a small indent in the top of the venison. Carefully place the egg yolk on top of the venison. If using a quails egg the top should be cut off and the egg put in the same place ready to be poured over when served.

Garnish around the stack with whatever edible wild flowers you have found, the sorrel and serve!

Yukhoe - The finished article

Monday, 24 March 2014

Snugpak Jungle Hammock – Review

Working as I do in the middle of the woods and often spending several days out in the sticks, comfortable, lightweight, sleeping arrangements are quite important to me.

Last year I started using a hammock to save weight rather than lugging around a tent. The hammock I was using was basically a heavy weight, canvas, oversize job that was very nice and comfortable but only fractionally smaller and lighter packed down than the tent I used to use. I started checking out the some light weight versions using parachute material but was surprised to see the likes of hammocks by Hennessy coming in at over £120!

In instead opted for the Snugpak Jungle Hammock from at under 35 quid it was a steal and appeared to have many of the same materials and a similar set up including the integral mosquito net I wanted after being eaten alive last year.

Compared with the with the old hammock it was quite a different beast, weighing in at less than 800 grams and a full 1.2 kilos less, it packed down to a quarter of the size. At this point I was wondering how sturdy it could actually be being that lightweight, nonetheless I was looking forward the end of my working day and to trying out my new bed.

Setting it up was a pretty simple and quick affair or at least it would have been if I hadn’t had a few wild cocktails with dinner. For suspending the hammock you have two lengths of 550 paracord knotted at increments making it quick to get the right tension when tying it to the tree. The hammock itself had steel carabineers at each end so simply clipped up to the paracord secured to the tree. Setting the bug net was a little trickier than the actual hammock as you need to get the tension just so. Too little and the net will sag on to you when in the hammock and too tight and I’d imagine it may tear the net when you get it. Would suggest setting it up with a loose tension with your adjustment knot accessible once in the hammock. That way you can get in to the hammock then adjust the tension to perfection. If you don’t want to use the bug net you can simply flip the hammock over and use it without.

There was plenty of space in there when I got in, I’m 6”3 and I reckon it could comfortably fit someone a fair bit taller and heavier than me. On the technical specs it says that it can take 180 kilos, which would be a very hefty individual. It was really comfortable to with enough room to curl up. It was a pretty cold night and I woke to frost on the field just outside the wood. I was pretty chilly but I put that down to the quality of my sleeping bag rather than the hammock. I’d suggest on any cold night using a roll mat or extra sleeping bag to keep the cold off your back, however in the summer having a cooling breeze on your back can be pretty nice.

Overall I’d say the Jungle Hammock is a massive improvement on my previous one and I’d recommend it anyone wanting to travel lighter and stay comfortable. I’ll certainly be getting a lot more use out of it this year at Hunter Gather Cook . Happy Camping!

Fine Wild Food Feast - 22nd March

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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Pyro Piston - Ancient Technology, 21st Century Reliability


Fire Pistons have been around for thousands of years and have been used by many tribes in the Pacific Islands and South East Asia. Evidence suggests that tribes that used blowpipes as a weapon originally came up with the idea. Of course we in the West like to claim these things for ourselves and our first mention of this type of tool came in 1745 when Abbe Augustin Ruffo “invented” it.  Some time after that in the early 1800’s it was patented and remained an incredibly popular house hold fire lighting device until some bright spark, Gustaf Erik Pasch invented the safety match in the mid 1800’s. The fire piston is also said to be the inspiration for Rudolf Diesels creation of the Diesel Engine in 1892.

How it works:

The fire piston works by rapidly compressing gas around the tinder at the end of the plunger. If this is done correctly the gas will heat up sharply to around 260°C. This is enough to ignite the tinder, and transfer it to a larger set of tinder for fire lighting. This is best demonstrated by Dustin in the video below.

How to:

Step One: Get a little of the lubricant on your finger and smear it on the washer. Push the piston in and out a couple of times. If it’s well lubricated, the piston will spring back due the compression created.

Step Two: Take a little tinder and press it into the tinder cup ensuring it sits firmly within the cup and if not touching the washer. If it is not in properly it will interfere with the washer meaning you’ll loose much needed compression.

Step Three: Insert the piston into the piston body about 1cm. Place the piston on a solid surface. Strike downwards with force then quickly remove the piston to reveal the glowing ember.

Step Four: Transfer the ember to larger pieces of tinder and gently blow until you get flames.

Moving Forward:

Dustin James at Bushcraft Tools has bought this ancient design right up to date with the Pyro Piston. Dustin’s idea came from his work with the Shelter Box charity which provide emergency shelter, supplies and support for communities around the world hit by disaster and humanitarian crisis. He wanted to make a sure-fire way of creating fire time and time again in these areas.  After years of research, development and many incarnations of his creation we are left with probably the best fire piston on the market.

Pyro Piston Review:

The Pyro Piston comes with everything you need to get a burning ember to light your fire. The kit includes a 1 Pyro-Piston, Built-in 64mm Firesteel, Charcloth, Lubricant  and Spare rubber washers. It weighs in at 80g and is 117mm long by 22mm wide.

The clever thing about the Pyro Piston is the way everything is incorporated into its design. One end of the two piece piston unscrews to reveal a small area where the lubricant is kept, the opposite end has a similar sized water proof compartment for keeping tinder. If that wasn’t enough there is a fire steel cleverly placed in the centre of the piston which can be found by unscrewing the tinder cup. I love this bit of design, to have two ways of making a fire in one device essentially giving you twice the chance to light a fire in the wilderness.

I hear Dustin has some pretty sweet upgrades in development too so keep an eye on him!