Grouse with Lentils and Garlic Puree

The rich gamey flavour of grouse pairs perfectly with a creamy garlic puree in this sophisticated recipe from Giorgio Locatelli
By Giorgio Locatelli
Grouse with Lentils and Garlic Puree
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus overnight soaking
  • Effort: hard

Ingredients

For the lentils

  • 200 g lentils, preferably lenticchie di Castelluccio
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 50 g pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 small bouquet garni
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 20 g chilled butter, cut in small cubes
  • 1 handfuls chopped parsley

For the garlic purée

  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 120 ml milk
  • 3 tbsp double cream

For the grouse

  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 banana shallot, cut in quarters
  • 4 slices pancetta
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp grouse or chicken stock

Method

1. For the lentils: soak the lentils in cold water overnight. Drain.

2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the chopped vegetables and pancetta. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are soft, but not coloured.

3. Add the drained lentils and the bouquet garni. Cook for another 5 minutes until everything is well mixed and the lentils start to stick to the pan. Add enough vegetable stock to cover the lentils by a finger's depth and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, until tender. Set aside.

4. For the garlic puree: bring a pan of water to the boil, add the garlic and remove it after a minute with a slotted spoon. Bring a pan of fresh water to the boil, put in the garlic for another minute and drain again.

5. Pour the milk into a small pan and add the blanched garlic. Bring to the boil and simmer for another 20 minutes, until the garlic is completely soft. Add the cream and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes. Take off the heat and use a hand-blender to whiz the garlic to a creamy purée. Cover with cling film.

6. For the grouse: preheat the oven to 240C/gas 9.

7. Clean the grouse leaving their feet. Put a sprig of rosemary and a piece of shallot in each cavity. Cover their bodies with a slice of pancetta, season and tie with kitchen string.

8. Heat the vegetable oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan. Add the grouse and brown first on one leg for 3 minutes, then on the other for another 3 minutes. Turn them on their breast for 4 minutes, then prop them up against the edge of the pan, for another minute. Transfer to the oven to finish cooking for 4-7 minutes. Finally, turn them on their backs, turn off the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Add the stock to the pan to warm.

9. Heat the lentils and stir in the cold butter and chopped parsley. Return the pan of garlic puree to the heat to warm through.

10. Heap the lentils into the centre of the serving plates and spoon the garlic puree around. Take the grouse from the oven, remove the string and sit one on top of each mound of lentils. Drizzle over any juices from the pan and serve.

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