August Recipe of The Month

Monday 29th August 2022

Roast Grouse, braised leg and liver parfait tart, cracked wheat, crapaudine beetroot, rainbow chard and pickled plum

Grouse has to be regarded as the finest game bird in my opinion. The excitement that it creates in kitchens when the Glorious Twelfth roles in and the first deliveries of these beautiful birds comes through the door is always noticeable.

Grouse is traditionally roasted without the innards being removed, however for this recipe the birds are being brined so the birds can be purchased plucked and drawn.

This is a fairly technical dish so you don’t have to make all the elements. Just the grouse roasted with the beetroot and served with some rainbow chard and smoked bacon lardons would be lovely.

Serves 4

Four young and tender grouse, plucked and drawn

200g of salt dissolved in 2 litres of water

100g smoked streaky bacon

Four onions

Two sheets of feuille de bric pastry 

two onions, thinly sliced

a few sprigs of thyme

500ml brown chicken stock

100ml of madeira jus (a pre bought jus will work fine)

80g of bulgur wheat 

Three ripe plums, cut in half with the stones removed

25g caster sugar mixed with 25ml of white wine vinegar

One piece of stem ginger

Two small crapaudine beetroots

50g of beef fat

25ml cabernet sauvignon vinegar

1 small bunch of rainbow chard

20g of unsalted butter

shallots, finely sliced

1/2 garlic clove, minced

5g of fresh thyme

20ml brandy

250g of chicken livers, cleaned and trimmed

1 egg 

60g of unsalted butter, room temperature

For the liver parfait

Finely dice the shallot, thyme and garlic and sweat in the butter until very soft. (no colour)

Add the brandy and reduce.

Prep the livers so there is no sinew. Make sure the butter is at room temperature.

Once the mixture is chilled, preheat an oven to 85ºC

Transfer the mixture to a blender along with the raw chicken livers, eggs and room temperature unsalted butter and blend until completely smooth. Pour the mixture through fine sieve into a small metal tray.Set up a bain-marie in the oven, cling film the mix and bake slowly until set. (about 20 mins)

Allow to cool to room temp. Blitz in a food processor and pass through a sieve again. Chill in a piping bag until ready to use.

For the grouse

Remove the legs, and cut off the feet. Gently colour the legs in a pan and cover with the stock. Braise in the oven for about 45 minutes at 160C fan until tender.

Cut off the heads, necks and wings and submerge the crowns in the brine for one hour then dry off well with a clean tea towel and leave at room temperature until you cook them.

For the pickled plum

Dice the plums and cook in a small pan with a splash of water and the stem ginger. Once tender blitz in a high powered blender with the vinegar and sugar and pass through a fine sieve.

For the beetroot

Melt the beef fat and pour over the beetroots in a bowl, add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and bake in the oven at 170C fan for about 30 mins. Pull out and allow to cool slightly and then peel the skins off whilst still warm. Dress with the residual fat and the cabernet sauvignon vinegar.

For the cracked wheat

Dice and sweat half an onion, add the bulgur wheat and cover with the stock that was used to braise the grouse legs. Cover with greaseproof paper and braise in the oven for 25 minutes until the stock has been absorbed.

For the tarts

For the tart case. Brush the bric pastry with a little melted butter and lay another sheet on top of it. Brush again and cut out with a 90mm round cutter. Put these into a small 40mm fluted tartlet case, stack another case on top and repeat the process with another circle of pastry. Continue to stack until you have the desired number of shells. Bake in the oven for 10 mins at 170C fan or until golden brown. Remove from the cases and allow to cool.

Thinly slice the onions, sweat in a little oil until caramelised and sweet- about 20 mins on a medium heat. Cut the bacon into lardons and fry in a pan until crispy. Mix through the onions and set aside until serving.

To serve

Colour the grouse in a hot cast iron frying pan then put into the oven at 170C fan for about 5 mins for medium rare and 7 mins for medium.

Remove the pan from the oven and add a generous spoon of butter and a few sprigs of thyme. Baste the birds for a further minute on the heat then place the birds upside down on a tray to rest. Pour the hot foaming butter into the bird’s cavities and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut the chard into pieces and blanch in boiling salted water for 30 seconds.

Fill the tarts with the onions, leg meat and bacon lardons, the pipe a generous amount of the liver parfait on top. Warm the bulgur wheat up and put some on the plate. Place some of the pickled plum onto the plate and the warmed beetroot and chard. Carve the grouse breasts off the crown and put onto the bulgur wheat. Finish with the jus.