What can you say about this dish.. Mouth wateringly satisfying! You can use any game bird with this dish as Elderberry matches with all of them. The sweet tartness of the sauce and the rich game’iness of the meat is stunning, add some bitter, caramelised Chicory on the side and you’re onto a winner.
100ml of Water
150g of Elderberry
45ml Red Wine Vinegar
50g Golden Caster Sugar
From the Garden
Small Handful of Thyme.
Serves 2, get the oven warm to 220 degrees
Firstly take your prepared Grouse, and season the bird inside and out with plenty of salt and pepper. Now in the cavity of the Grouse place 4 crushed Juniper berries, Bay leaves and a sprig of Thyme. In a large frying pan (metal handled so that it can go in the oven) heat a good glug of Olive Oil and the butter. Heat to frying temperature and then using a pair of tongs to control the bird whilst you fry each side of the breast and the bottom, you just want to get a little colour on the skin not cook the Grouse in the pan. When complete place the right way up in the pan and roast for 15 minutes.
The Chicory couldn’t be easier. Simply remove any damaged or unsuitable leaves from the Chicory and slice lengthways. Place cut side up in a baking tray and then season. Now pour (use your thumb over the top of the sherry bottle) a small amount of the Sherry vinegar over each piece of Chicory and repeat with a little Olive Oil as well. The Chicory will take ten minutes in the oven so when the Grouse has 5 minutes to cook put them on the hot oven next to the bird so that they can continue to cook whilst the Grouse is resting.
Remove the Grouse from the oven when cooked and place on a warm plate, cover in a layer of foil and cover that with a tea towel.
The Elderberry reduction is easy too. Put the sugar and vinegar in a small pan and heat gently. When the sugar is dissolved reduce and boil until a blonde caramel appears. Next add the Elderberry and the water and simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce the mix down until it starts to thicken and that’s it its ready to serve.
In the pan that the Grouse cooked in add a half a cup of water or a light chicken stock (you can add a little splash of white wine if you have it) and heat on the stove scraping any of the little burn’t bits from the bottom of the pan. Keep on the heat simmering until you joint the bird.
To serve, joint the bird, and place a leg and sliced breast on each plate break up the remaining parts of the carcass and add to the simmering stock. Turn up the heat and stir for a 2 minutes. Pass the gravy through a sieve and then decant ready for the final plating.
Place the roasted Chicory next to the Grouse, pour a little gravy over the meat and Chicory and then using a teaspoon to pour the Elderflower sauce circle the plate (sorry this is really chef’y and adds a lovely finish to the plate) with a trickle of the fantastic sauce repeating until a small circle of the punchy fruity sauce is completed (hey listen if you don’t fancy this just serve it on top of the Grouse or on the side).
Rich roasted game with a sweet deep purple fruity Elderberry sauce and delicious cleansing vegetables on the side.
Lovely, lovely, lovely… This plate of food eats so well.
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