Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Saturday night I finally cooked my very first grouse. It was also my very first taste of this lovely bird. The man collected them from Charlie at the Ginger Pig Friday. Resisiting the temptation to cook immediately I lay the little beauties on a plate.

And tucked them into the fridge overnight.

I went through lots of suggestions and recipes and initially led astray by the idea of red wine sauce. Finally settled on simple is best. I unbaconed them, removed their hearts and livers, and dusted with flour. Sprig of thyme and a knob of butter in the cavity.

The innards I poached briefly in a small amount of chicken stock. The bacon I chopped and put into a roasting pan with a serious knob of butter. Pan into hot oven - Gas 7 - till bubbling. Add birds, drench with hot fat, roast for 10 minutes.

Baste again with hot fat, roast another ten minutes. Remove birds to a warm plate and let rest, covered with foil, for another ten minutes. Make toast. Drain most of the fat from the roasting pan and add the hearts and livers, mashing them into the bacony juices.

Dance the birdies onto plates. Spread toast with the livers and juices mash. Insert bunch of fresh washed watercress into fundament. Add side of creamed cabbage with (more) bacon. Because you can never have too much bacon.

My first ever grouse dinner is served. Brilliant thing - and a worthy meal to match my excitement at the prospect.

No idea why I waited so long.

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