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.
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
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.
© 1996 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.