There's no grouse with this tasty bird.
Traditional roast grouse
onion, studded with three cloves
5 bay leaves
5 fresh thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove, crushed
100g/3oz unsalted butter
300ml/ pint milk
12 juniper berries
4 young oven-ready grouse
4 slices bread
90ml/3fl oz clarified butter (See Tip)
300ml/ pint red wine
1 tbsp cassis
600ml/1 pint game stock
2 tbsp sunflower oil
175g/6oz fresh breadcrumbs
Maldon salt and freshly ground white pepper
Fresh watercress, to serve
1 Start the bread sauce: place the onion, one bay leaf, a thyme sprig, the garlic, 55g/2oz of unsalted butter and milk in pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for five minutes, remove from the heat and leave to infuse.
2 Place three juniper berries, one thyme sprig and one bay leaf into the cavity of each bird, then smear the outside of each bird with 25g/1oz unsalted butter and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
3 Make the croutons: using a scone cutter stamp out 4x6cm/2in discs of bread. Heat the clarified butter and gently shallow fry the discs until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and reserve.
4 Make the gravy: combine the red wine, cassis and stock in a pan and reduce until it starts to thicken. Whisk in 15g/oz of butter, season and keep warm.
5 Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8. Heat a 30cm/12in black-iron frying pan until it is very hot. Add the sunflower oil and place the birds, breast-side down, in the pan and cook for two minutes.
6 Turn the birds on to their undersides and place the pan in the oven and cook for eight minutes. Remove pan and stand in a warm place for at least 10 minutes.
7 Finish the bread sauce: strain the milk into a clean pan, add the breadcrumbs and whisk over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until thickened.
8 Warm the croutons and gravy in the oven and check the seasoning. Place a crouton on a warmed plate, sit a grouse on top and fill its cavity with watercress. Dollop some bread sauce beside the bird and pour over some gravy.
Nutrition notes per serving: 1013 calories, protein 60g, carbohydrate 54g, fat 57g, saturated fat 29g, fibre 2g, added sugar none, salt 2.48g.
For clarified butter: melt 250g/9oz unsalted butter in a small pan over a low heat. Allow to stand for a few minutes until all the oil rises to the top, then skim off the oil into a sealable plastic container.
Nick Nairn Cooks the Main Course is one of a new series of BBC books called TV Cooks.
It comes with a new 30-minute video containing expert advice and step-by-step techniques for cooking tasty dishes. The set costs pounds 9.99 and is available from all good book stores.
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|Publication:||Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)|
|Date:||Jul 11, 1999|
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