One Day Autumn Preserves course

autumn hedgerow harvest

Course description

Preserving hedgerow berries has been a household occupation for hundreds – if not thousands of years! On this course we show you the different berries to be found, which ones are particularly good to preserve and how to do it. We will make a range of preserves, some using a mixture of hedgerow berries, some using just one fruit. There are lots of different ways to preserve – in alcohol, – as wild berry liqueurs, as traditionally boiled Jellies, jams and chutneys, savoury ketchups, fruit vinegars, sauces and cordials.

The day is held in our private wood and involves short walks and talks, demonstrations and hands on experience making preserves. Together we will be making liqueurs, jellies, sauces and a cordial for you to take home. There will be other preserves for you to try and liqueurs and seasonal drinks for you to taste.

The course runs from 9.30am – 4.00pm. There will be hot drinks and biscuits supplied and a light lunch. Places are limited to 10.

For dates and to book this course please follow the link back to our website www.tastethewild/one-offcourses
The course will be held at our own private wood near Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. Directions will be sent to you on booking. Please dress for the weather and wear suitable outdoor shoes.

£95 per person

berry trug

Salt cured venison with berry sauce, smoked oil and pickled berries.


A great little Autumn dish making the most of our delicious local venison and some hedgerow berries.

To serve 2 as a starter.


200g Venison loin
50g rock salt
3 sprigs of Thyme
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
A few grinds of black pepper

Smoked olive oil (optional)


Put all the spices and the salt into a pestle and mortar and  grind down a little to a course mix.

Put the loin into a lidded container just  bigger than the meat and cover with the salt mix.

Rub the salt all over the meat, put on the container lid and refrigerate for 24 hours, taking out the meat and turning it a couple of times.

To serve, wash off the salt mix and rub with the smoked oil (if using).  Slice very finely and put onto a plate with berries and sauce. Dress with fresh herbs (we used wood sorrel for acidity and vetch shoots and flowers for sweetness) and a drizzle of good quality rapeseed oil.


Pickled berries

20g berries

Put the berries into a small amount of balsamic vinegar with one teaspoon of sugar and leave for 20 minutes.  Remove berries from the vinegar and serve.


Berry sauce for cured meat

A mixture of autumn berries.

Rose hips
hawthorn berries
Balsamic vinegar.

Take your berries, put them into a pan and just cover with water. Put onto a high heat, bring to the boil then simmer for 15 mins.

Sieve out the fruit, retaining all the liquid in a measuring jug.  For every pint of liquid add 1 pound of sugar .

Reheat to dissolve the sugar and reduce to a  syrupy consistency.

Add balsamic vinegar to taste then serve or bottle.

Pontack sauce recipe

Pontack sauce is an old traditional recipe named after ‘The Pontack’s head’  a restaurant in London in the 17th Century. It has a good strong flavour, I think it’s a little bit like HP Sauce. Ideally keep it for a few months before using, as the flavours mellow. It goes especially well with cold meats and game but you can also use it to add a fruity richness to gravies or sauces.

This is my version of it.

  • 500g Elderberries (washed and stalks removed)
  • 250ml White wine vinegar
  • 250ml Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Red onion chopped
  • 15g fresh root ginger bruised
  • 1tsp ground Allspice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 170g Demarara sugar

Put all the ingredients, apart from the sugar, into a heavy based saucepan and cook  on a low heat for 2 hours. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh seive into a clean pan, squashing as much through as possible. Add the sugar and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes and pour into sterilised bottles or jars.

Hope you like it !