Poached and roasted grouse

Sat Bains prepares an impressive dish for an autumn dinner party, using the new seasons grouse
Poached and roasted grouse
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 1 hour macerating
  • Effort: hard


  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprigs rosemary
  • 5 white peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 1 litres roast chicken stock
  • 150 g pine kernels
  • 150 g pistachio nuts
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 2 matchstick-lengths cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp blackberry jelly
  • 2 florets cauliflower
  • splashes sherry vinegar
  • 75 g fresh blackberries
  • splashes blackberry vinegar
  • thyme salt, for seasoning
  • butter, for frying
  • 50 g small young shoots of watercress, picked and washed
  • dark chocolate, for serving


1. Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. Debone the grouse and set the supremes aside (the carcass and legs will be used for stock).

3. Put the carcasses into a roasting pan with one sprig of thyme, the rosemary, peppercorns, garlic and shallot and roast for 30-45 minutes until golden brown. Remove the carcasses, then strain and reserve any solids left in the pan.

4. Put the carcasses and reserved solids into a large saucepan and cover with the chicken stock. Simmer gently for 2 hours, then strain through a finer sieve. Check the consistency you should have a light sauce. Return it to a clean pan and reduce further, if necessary.

5. Using a mandolin, shave the raw cauliflower florets finely into a bowl. Add a splash of sherry vinegar and leave the cauliflower to pickle slightly for about 1 hour.

6. Steep the blackberries in a splash of blackberry vinegar and leave to macerate for 1 hour.

7. Put the nuts in a pressure cooker with the remaining thyme, juniper and cinnamon. Pour over the reduced stock and add the blackberry jelly. Pressure cook for 15 minutes.

8. Poach the grouse supremes in a vacuum bag in a water bath set at 52C for 12 minutes. Open the bag and pat the supremes dry. Rub thyme salt into the skin.

9. Heat a little butter in a heavy-based pan until foaming, then fry-roast the supremes, skin side down, until crisp. Rest for 2 minutes before slicing.

10. To serve, put the warm braised nuts in a large bowl, arrange slices of grouse on and around the nuts, scatter with shaved pickled cauliflower, add a few soaked blackberries, scatter some watercress around the dish and finish with a grating of bitter chocolate.

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