Friday 7 November 2008

Roast Grouse with Lemon and Sage Butter

What a season we are in at the moment, and what a lucky boy I’ve been during it. Not content with the piles of free apples and pears that have survived our wet summer and the bags of roots that seem to be endless, I've been even luckier with the kindness of some of the suppliers I work with and managed to bag a few pieces of game. And what a misunderstood meat game is.

As a child, I think the only game meat I ate, or what could be classed as game meat, was rabbit. So from my early years, I've never really had a problem with consuming fluffy cute things or large eyed bambies that rampage freely around our countryside. If anything, I encourage people to eat more of the things. They are naturally free range, eat their own organic produce and can be a very cheap option if you know where to shop. So they tick all of the current 'food trend' ethical boxes.

This week I received a couple of the last grouse from up in Northumberland. Naturally low in fat and packed with that unique flavour that only a wild naturally reared animal can give you, it is a bird that must be tried if you are a little sceptical of our great British game. My grouse were respectfully treat with a little fresh and pungent sage, zest of lemon and butter.

Quite why anybody could misunderstand that concoction is beyond me for it is a simple to cook and delicious treat to be served with some braised red cabbage, mashed potatoes and gravy made with the roasting juices. Now go on, be game.

Roast Grouse with Lemon and Sage Butter

Serves 2

2 prepared grouse, weighing approximately 300-350g
50g softened salted butter
2 handfuls of fresh sage leaves
Juice of one lemon
8 slices of streaky bacon
Salt and pepper

1 - Pre-heat the oven to GM6/Fan 180C/200C.
2 – Roughly chop the sage leaves. Grate a little of the lemon zest into a bowl and mash together with the butter and sage leaves.
3 – Place a little of the butter inside the cavity of each bird. Rub the rest all over the birds. Season with salt and pepper then drape the streaky bacon over the birds. Place them onto a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes.
4 – Remove the bacon but leave in the baking tray to allow both the birds and the bacon to go crispy. Roast for a further 10 minutes.
5 – Remove from the oven and place the birds onto a plate. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
6 – Deglaze the roasting tray with a little stock or wine to make gravy and serve with your favourite vegetables.


Anonymous said...

Oh I am not sceptical at all! I am a MASSIVE fan of game! I agree with all your points, cheap, full of flavour, organic etc - I can't get enough :)

Anonymous said...

I ate grouse for the first time this week and enjoyed, I'd like to have a go at cooking it myself if I can track some down.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Grouse, pheasant and quail are all round our neighbourhood.The quail are just too cute and there is very little meat since they are so small, but they do serve them at my favourite Greek restaurant:D

Aimée said...

David, I would pull up a chair to this and tuck right it! We ate grouse (and rabbit) when I was growing up.
Looks lovely!

Sam Sotiropoulos said...

David, grouse are a popular game bird here in Canada as well. I had bagged several grouse myself last year and I think I still may have a couple in deep freeze... I am with you on recommending game meats, they are simply the best meats available to humans, as natural as it gets. Your recipe sounds yum. :)

Trig said...

I'm a big fan of game, but it just seems so much harder to eat after watching that Palin woman. Somehow it sticks in your throat.

Sylvie said...

I'm definitely game for some of that!

Joie de vivre said...

That sounds absolutely wonderful. Did you have to remove the feathers yourself? That is the part I might not like about game.

Chef Jeena said...

You always make your cooking sound so exciting David. :-)

Cynthia said...

I've never heard of grouse before but thanks for the introduction.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Not sure I've ever eaten grouse. Surprising, as I've eaten just about everything else!

This sounds delish. Lucky you!

Anonymous said...

Not something I have tried but I will now!

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