The Ledbury staff at last year's quail hunt (Photo by Stephanie Breijo)
With each fall comes one of the city's most stylish private events, and now, in its fifth year, it's open to the public; tickets to Ledbury's annual Quail Hunt / Gather are now available to everyone for the first time in the event's history. While the hunt portion of the day is still private, the gather is where the real fun is: Last year, bar managers from Saison, The Roosevelt, and Metzger Bar & Butchery mixed up bourbon-based cocktails and punches while their respective chefs served up pozole, a duck-and-rabbit stew, and citrus-brined chicken.
This year, on Saturday, Nov. 5, guests can arrive at Goochland's Orapax Hunting Preserve in their fall finest and sample their way through black-truffled cavatelli with duck confit, celery root, cipollini onions, HaaShrooms and cured egg yolk by way of Heritage's Joe Sparatta; 36-hour beef brisket with horseradish streusel, caramelized-onion farro and bone marrow bordelaise from Brittanny Anderson of Metzger Bar & Butchery and the forthcoming Brenner Pass; and Brunswick stew made with pork, chicken and rabbit, served with cornbread, by The Roosevelt and Southbound's Lee Gregory.
On the cocktail front will be well-known Richmond bartending fixtures Mattias Hagglund, Thomas "T" Leggett and James Kohler, while Hardywood Park Craft Brewery pours the beer. On the activity front, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will host field activities for guests, including archery and fly-fishing — another first in the event's history — and there'll be live bluegrass from Andrew Alli and Josh Small and indie pop from Sleepwalkers.
In preview of the event, we nabbed Chef Gregory's recipe for the Brunswick stew he'll be whipping up on Saturday. Make it, love it, enjoy it all over again this weekend.
Makes roughly 1 gallon
By Lee Gregory of The Roosevelt and Southbound
2 rabbit leg quarters
2 chicken leg quarters
1 pound of pork butt, cubed
6 ribs of celery
2 quarts of pork stock
3 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
½ cup of Worcestershire sauce
½ cup of tomato puree
½ cup of barbecue sauce
¼ cup of hot sauce
2 cups of potatoes, chopped
16 ounces of lima beans
16 ounces of corn kernels
1 cup of celery, onions and carrots, diced
1 cup of celery root, diced
2 bay leaves
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
Place the celery, onions, carrots, pork stock, rabbit, chicken and pork butt in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Let this stew, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and tender, about 1 ½ hours. Strain the broth into a separate container and reserve. Remove the meat, letting it cool to the touch, then pick and shred it, removing the bones. Set aside. Add the stock back to the pot, and add the remaining ingredients, including the meat. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and reduce the stew to a simmer for roughly 1 hour or until it reaches your desired thickness.
Tickets to the 5th annual Ledbury Quail Hunt / Gather event are $45 and now on sale. The event takes place Saturday, Nov. 5, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Orapax Hunting Preserve in Goochland.