Roast grouse with red wine, port and blackberry sauce and bread sauce fritters

Image supplied by Taste of Game

Image supplied by Taste of Game - Credit: Archant

This recipe, using the breast of the grouse, has a mild gamey flavour. However the strength of taste depends on the type of bird you choose; snow grouse have a very strong flavour whereas a hazel grouse is much milder. We recommend the ‘Are you Game?’ Pinot Noir from Great Western Wines to accompany this meal.

Roast grouse with red wine, port and blackberry sauce and bread sauce fritters

2 grouse

4 rashers smoked streaky bacon

2 tbsp. rapeseed oil

50g salted butter

2 garlic cloves

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2 sprigs thyme

Wrap breasts with smoked bacon, place in a medium hot, heavy-bottomed frying pan with vegetable oil and a knob of butter.

Leaving the skin on crush (do not chop) a couple of garlic cloves and place them in the pan together with the thyme.

Over a medium heat, brown the grouse on one side, then the other, then the breast. Finally cook it with the back down. The entire process should take about ten minutes – remember to brown the legs.

Set aside in a warm place to allow the grouse to rest for five minutes or so.

It should then be ready to serve. If not, and still a bit pink, finish in an oven at 180°C for four to five minutes.

Bread sauce fritters

2 tbsps mashed potato (leftovers works well)

250ml milk

2 cloves

1/2 star anise

1/2 clove garlic

¼ tsp cinnamon

1/2 clove garlic

4 thick slices white bread cubed (fresh)

Salt and pepper

2 tbsps leftover vegetables (can be anything)

Add to the milk the two cloves, a quarter of star anise, ¼ tsp cinnamon and half a clove of garlic.

Warm the milk through, and then sieve to remove the cloves, garlic etc. Add bread cubes. Season with salt and pepper and cook on low heat for five minutes, stirring regularly. Set aside.

Combine the bread sauce with two tablespoons each of mashed potato and leftover vegetables. Season.

Heat a knob of butter or a splash of vegetable oil in a small non-stick pan, and spoon in a serving of the fritter mixture. Brown on one side and turn to brown on the other. Set each aside and keep warm.

Red wine sauce

150 ml red wine

75 ml glass of port

200 ml chicken stock

Knob of butter

12 blackberries (optional)

Heat port and red wine in a saucepan, reduce by half, then add the stock. Reduce again so the sauce is just thick enough to ‘coat’ the pigeon breasts. Add a knob of butter for a lovely sheen.

Serve the grouse whole with red wine sauce with the fritters alongside. Add blackberries to the sauce and warm through before serving. Serve with green vegetables.

Recipe supplied by Taste of Game.