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  • Matthew Woodley

Recipe Share: Glorious Grouse

We are well and truly in the midst of the game season. I love this time of year, the season's changing, and it's time that comfort food comes in to its own. Grouse is a great game bird, fairly mild in comparison to some other game birds it's a great option for those new to game. My recipe below is one of the most traditional ways to serve grouse and was featured in The Shooting Times a couple of years ago.

It might look long-winded but it's actually pretty easy and well worth the effort! Pop to your local butchers to order grouse, give it a go and let me know how you get on.


Matt


Roast Grouse, Livers en Croute, Bread Purée, Watercress, Blackberries

Roast Grouse, livers en croute, bread purée, watercress, blackberries
Roast Grouse, livers en croute, bread purée, watercress, blackberries

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 Young Red Grouse (including livers)

50g Butter for livers en croute 50g for basting the birds

½ tsp Chopped thyme

4 Cloves of garlic, 4 sprigs of thyme, 8 bruised juniper berries for stuffing the grouse with

2 Slices white bread

Salt, pepper and a splash (25 ml) Brandy

Cooking oil

Garnish

Young watercress leaves

200g water

200g sugar

200g blackberries

For the Purée

6 Slices stale/dry white bread

200 ml Milk

½ Onion diced

3 Cloves

5 Black peppercorns

1 sprig of thyme

1 Clove of garlic

1 Bay leaf

Method:

To make the livers en croute

Sauté the livers in a little oil, add the chopped thyme, salt, pepper and brandy for one minute on each side. Place in a food processor with 50g diced butter and blitz until a smooth paste.

Use a 6cm diameter cutter to cut four rings out of the two slices of white bread. Fry in oil to crisp up on either side, like fried bread, and put to one side.

To Roast the Grouse

Pre-heat oven to 230c.

Season the grouse with salt and pepper inside and out, fill the cavities with thyme, garlic and juniper berries. Add oil to a medium-hot pan place the grouse in the pan breast side down, turning when coloured (circa 2 minutes) until the entire bird is coloured all over.

Add butter to the pan, allowing it to melt and then spoon over the birds before placing in the oven for 15 minutes. When the time’s up, remove from the oven, place on a cooling rack, pour over the cooking juices and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

To make the bread purée

Heat the milk with the onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns, when the milk comes to the boil remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse for ten minutes. Meanwhile remove the crust from the bread and place the bread in a food processer to make crumbs. Pass the milk though a fine sieve and add to the bread a little at a time until you have a puree consistency, set the food processor to high power to make the puree smooth.

Poached blackberries

Bring the sugar and water to the boil, leave to simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool a little then add the blackberries. Leave the blackberries in the poaching liquor until ready to serve.

To serve

Spoon the bread puree on the plate, spread the croute with the liver mousse and sit on top of the puree. Remove the breasts from the breast bones of the grouse and place onto the croute, garnish the plate with the watercress and the poached blackberries.

Add butter to the pan, allowing it to melt and then spoon over the birds before placing in the oven for 15 minutes. When the time’s up, remove from the oven, place on a cooling rack, pour over the cooking juices and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

To make the bread purée

Heat the milk with the onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns, when the milk comes to the boil remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse for ten minutes. Meanwhile remove the crust from the bread and place the bread in a food processer to make crumbs. Pass the milk though a fine sieve and add to the bread a little at a time until you have a puree consistency, set the food processor to high power to make the puree smooth.

Poached blackberries

Bring the sugar and water to the boil, leave to simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool a little then add the blackberries. Leave the blackberries in the poaching liquor until ready to serve.

To serve

Spoon the bread puree on the plate, spread the croute with the liver mousse and sit on top of the puree. Remove the breasts from the breast bones of the grouse and place onto the croute, garnish the plate with the watercress and the poached blackberries.

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