By Jonathan Hatchman, Food Editor, @TLE_Food
With Game season now well underway, following the Glorious 12th of August, The Plowden Arms in Henley on Thames have shared the recipe for their own Roast Grouse dish, using the quintessentially British Red Grouse, Livers En Croute, Bread Purée, Watercress and Blackberries. Enjoy.
For the Grouse
Young Red Grouse, 4, including Livers
Butter, 50g for Livers En Croute plus 50g for basting the Birds
Thyme, ½ Tsp, chopped
Garlic, 4 cloves
Thyme, 4 sprigs
Bruised Juniper Berries, 8, for stuffing the Grouse
White Bread, 2 slices
Salt & Pepper
Brandy, a splash (25 ml)
For the Purée
Stale/dry White Bread, 6 Slices
Milk, 200 ml
Onion, ½, diced
Black Peppercorns, 5
Thyme, 1 sprig
Garlic, 1 Clove
Bay leaf, 1
Young Watercress Leaves
To make the Livers En Croute
Sauté the Livers in a little Oil, with the chopped Thyme, Salt, Pepper and Brandy for one minute on each side.
Place in a food processor with 50g diced Butter and blitz until a smooth paste is formed.
Use a 6cm diameter cutter to cut four rings out of the two slices of White Bread.
Fry in oil to crisp up on either side, like Fried Bread, and put to one side.
To Roast the Grouse
Pre-heat the oven to 230c.
Season the Grouse with Salt and Pepper inside and out, fill the cavities with Thyme, Garlic and Juniper Berries.
Add oil to a medium-hot pan and place the grouse in the pan breast side down, turning when coloured (circa 2 minutes) until the entire Bird is coloured all over.
Add butter to the pan, allowing it to melt and then spoon over the Birds before placingin the oven for 15 minutes.
When time’s up, remove from the oven, place on a cooling rack, pour over the cooking juices and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
To make the Bread Purée
Heat the Milk with the Onion, Garlic, Thyme, Bay Leaf and Peppercorns. When the Milk comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the crust from the Bread and place the Bread into a food processer to make crumbs.
Pass the Milk though a fine sieve and add to the Bread a little at a time until you have a purée consistency, then set the food processor to high power to make the puree smooth.
To poached the Blackberries
Bring the Sugar and Water to the boil, leave to simmer for five minutes and then remove from the heat. Allow to cool a little, and then add the Blackberries.
Leave the Blackberries in the poaching liquor until ready to serve.
Spoon the Bread Purée on to the plate, spread the Croute with the Liver Mousse and sit on top of the Purée.
Remove the breasts from the breastbones of the Grouse and place onto the Croute.
Garnish the plate with the Watercress and the poached Blackberries.
The Plowden Arms can be found on Reading Road, Shiplake Cross, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 4BX.