How to roast grouse
- Credit: Archant
The chef-patron of Chapter One, our winner of Restaurant of the Year 2015, on his favourite game bird and how to cook it
I was very excited writing this month’s column, as I’m sure you all know by now grouse is my favourite game bird and my all-time favourite ingredient to use.
I’m pretty certain the majority of chefs out there would back me up in saying The Glorious Twelfth (12 August) is a highlight in the foodie calendar. It marks the start of the shooting season for grouse and also signifies the start of the official game season.
I often go shooting for game to serve in my restaurant and this October I’ve got a very exciting trip planned. I will be travelling up to Scotland to take part in a week-long shoot where the quarry is mainly Red Deer and Sika Deer.
We have also been promised a day’s shoot for grouse, which will be a first for me. Somehow I managed to convince them my payment would be to cook for all six of us staying in the cabin over that week.
We’ll be staying in a really beautiful part of Scotland, about an hour north of Inverness, slightly north of the river Carron. We’ll also only be a 45-minute drive away from the Glenmorangie Whiskey distillery; what a fantastic week, grouse, whiskey, good company – and of course me cooking!
If you want to buy quality game in Kent, I’d recommend my trusted suppliers, Chart Farm for mainly venison but also for game including rabbit, pigeon and grouse. w
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Chapter One, Farnborough Common, Locksbottom BR6 8NF 01689 854848
www.chapteronerestaurant.co.ukFollow Andy on @andy23471
Next month: Andy makes pumpkin pie
Roast grouse with game chips
2 bay leaves
700ml whole milk
1 whole nutmeg
1 loaf white bread
4 tbss double cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Peel the onion, leaving it whole, then spike it with the cloves. Put the spiked onion into a medium saucepan with the bay leaves, milk and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Finely grate 1tsp of nutmeg.
Place the pan on the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce to a low heat and simmer very gently for 5 minutes to let the ?avours infuse. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
Cut the crusts off the loaf and discard. Cut the loaf into chunks and pulse them in a food processor until you have coarse breadcrumbs. Strain the milk through a sieve into a jug, discarding the onion, cloves and bay leaves.
Return the milk to the pan and bring back to the boil over a high heat. Reduce to a medium heat and simmer, gradually stirring in the breadcrumbs until you’ve used them all up. Add the butter and cream to the pan, stir well, and season to taste.
Have a look at the sauce - if it’s too runny, add a few more breadcrumbs, if it’s a little thick add more milk.
4 large Desiree potatoes, thinly sliced
300ml vegetable oil
Heat a heavy bottomed pan, add a third full of vegetable oil. Heat until about 188ºC (if you drop in a bread crumb it will sizzle)
Pat dry the potato slices, carefully put them in the oil and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain them on a kitchen towel. Sprinkle with salt and serve in a bowl.
1 whole grouse
Salt and pepper
Knob of butter
1 sprig of fresh thyme
Remove the legs and wishbone leaving just the breasts on the bone. Preheat the oven to 180 ºC, then heat a heavy bottom sauté pan, add a little oil and then place the legs in the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, season the grouse crown with salt and pepper and place the grouse in the pan with the legs, colour both sides of the breast over heat and return the pan to the oven for 6-7 minutes.
Be careful not to overcook the grouse, as it should be served medium to rare. Remove the pan from the oven, add a knob of butter and a little thyme and baste the legs and the breast.
Remove both legs and breasts from the pan and serve with the warm bread sauce, game chips and a really good glass of red wine.