In Belgium, numerous farms specialise in breeding game, most of which is deer. Hence, all year round, it is not uncommon to find some game meat on a restaurant menu or to purchase some for cooking at home. However, during the hunting season in Belgium, the availability increases significantly.
The Ardennes is the main area for hunting. The deep forests are inhabited by a variety of wild animals—deer, hares, wild boar, pheasants, partridges, and ducks. Hunters with valid permits are allowed to hunt from October to the end of January or the beginning of February. During this period, the game is added to almost any dish that has meat in its recipe—soups, traditional rural dishes, and refined specialties.
Pheasant à la Brabançonne is one of the most popular dishes featuring game—a baked pheasant with chicory or endives. Another specialty is the Jambon d’Ardennes—smoked ham made from the meat of a wild boar.