Jerrine of Young Grouse

Grouse is always expensive, even when the season has settled down. I absolutelylove it, together with woodcock and snipe. I find these dark-meated gamebirds the most desirable. This is a way to make a brace of grouse into a truly great first course sufficient for 6-8 people.

Ingredients

  • 2 young grouse
  • softened butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fat pork or unsmoked fat bacon for wrapping
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 125 ml/4floz medium sherry
  • Worcestershire or Harvey's sauce
  • 1 sachet powdered gelatine (3 level tsp)
  • 225 g/8 oz good smoked bacon, diced
  • 225 g/8 oz field mushrooms, diced
  • fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp redcurrant jelly

Method

Butter and season the grouse, wrap in the slices of fat or bacon and sit in a small, snug roasting tin with a cup of water. Cover loosely with foil so that the birds will be as much poached (in the cooking sense) as roasted and no cooking juices are wasted. Cook in a preheated oven at 220°C/425°F/Gas 7 for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool in their juices, then remove the meat from the bones and carve into nice slithers.

To make stock, put the bones and the juices from the tin in a saucepan with 600 ml/1 pint of water, the carrots, onion, celery and bayleaves. Bring to the boil, then simmer very gently for about 2 hours with a lid on. Season to taste and filter through a fine sieve. Return to the rinsed-out saucepan, add the sherry and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and reduce to 450 ml/¾ pint of liquid. Take off the heat and dissolve the gelatine in the liquid, stirring like mad.

Sauté the diced bacon in butter, then toss in the mushrooms and stir-fry briefly. Add some chopped fresh thyme if liked. Arrange alternate layers of grouse with the mushroom and bacon mixture in a terrine (or loaf tin). Pour over the stock to just cover the ingredients. Leave to set in the refrigerator.

Melt the redcurrant jelly and spoon over the top as a glaze. Allow to set again. After you have turned out the terrine, sprinkle with a little finely chopped parsley and a few random redcurrants if you have them. Serve sliced, with warm brown toast and butter.

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