Grouse with Brandy

Ingredients

  • 4 young grouse
  • 225 g/8 oz butter
  • sprigs of fresh thyme
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 rashers streaky bacon
  • 1 cup strong chicken stock
  • 1 glass brandy (or whisky)
  • 4 croûtons, 7.5×5 cm/3×2 in, fried in butter
  • watercress and game chips to serve
  • redcurrant jelly

Method

Singe any feathers remaining on the grouse. Be careful that the liver, which should have been left inside by your game supplier, does not drop out. Place the grouse in a roasting tin. Season inside the cavity. Put a knob of butter and a sprig of thyme inside the cavity as well. Season the outside of the grouse. Cover the breasts with the remaining butter. Wrap 2 rashers of bacon round the birds, tucking the ends in well underneath and making sure the thighs of the grouse are well covered.

Roast the birds in a preheated oven 200°C/400°F/gas 6 for about 20 minutes, basting regularly. A grouse should not be well done. Medium cooking is good, but some people prefer it rare. Remove the grouse from the roasting pan and leave them to rest in a warm place.

Pour off the fat from the roasting pan and add the stock. Add the warmed brandy; tilt the pan to ignite the alcohol. Scrape all the pan juices into the sauce.

Fry the croûtons in butter until golden brown.

Place a croûton on each plate, holding the grouse over the croûton, remove the thyme and with a fork remove the liver and gently mash it onto the croûton. Place the bird on top of the croûton.

When the flames of the sauce have subsided, strain the sauce over the birds.

Garnish with watercress and game chips. Serve with redcurrant jelly. If desired, bread sauce and buttered breadcrumbs are also delicious with grouse.

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