- Serves: 2
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Effort: medium
For the grouse
- 2 grouse
- 4 strips streaky bacon
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ small onions, finely diced
- ½ carrots, finely diced
- ½ sticks celery, finey diced
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 tbsp brandy
- 100 ml water
For the bread sauce
- 1 small onion, peeled
- 4 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 250 ml milk
- 1 tbsp butter
- 110 g white bread, crusts removed, cut into small cubes
For the game chips
- 1 large potato, such as Maris Piper
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
For the game crumbs
- 6 tbsp butter
- 2 handfuls fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp sherry
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
1. For the grouse: preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Wrap 2 strips of bacon around each grouse, making sure the bacon covers the breasts to prevent them drying out during cooking. Secure wwith kitchen string. Season generously, inside and out, with salt and black pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based, ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the grouse and fry for 3-4 minutes, turning regularly, until the birds are browned on all sides.
3. Tip the diced vegetables and thyme into the pan and arrange each grouse so that it is resting on one breast.
4. Transfer to the oven for 3-4 minutes, then turn the birds onto their other breast and roast for a further 3 minutes. Turn the grouse onto their backs and roast for a further 5 minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately pour in the brandy. Flambe carefully. Remove the grouse from the pan, place on a warm plate and cover loosely with foil. Set aside to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.
6. Set the pan containing the vegetables and juices over a medium-high heat, pour in the water and bring to a boil. Simmer vigorously for about 4 minutes, or until reduced to a thick sauce.
7. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a clean saucepan and keep warm until ready to serve. Discard the contents of the sieve.
8. For the bread sauce: stud the peeled onion with the cloves. Place it in a small saucepan with the milk and bay leaf and bring to a very gentle simmer over a low heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes, to allow the flavours to infuse the milk, taking care not to let the milk boil over.
9. Strain the milk through a sieve into a clean pan and return to the heat. Discard the onion and bay leaf. Stir the butter into the milk then remove from the heat.
10. Whisk the bread into the hot milk until it forms a smooth sauce. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. To prevent a skin forming, cover the sauce with a piece of buttered greaseproof paper until ready to serve.
11. For the game chips: use the waffle blade attachment on a mandoline to slice the potato into 3mm-thick, crisscross-pattern chips (alternatively use a very sharp knife to thinly slice the potato).
12. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or deep-sided, heavy-based pan and fry the potato slices until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt.
13. For the game crumbs: melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Tip in the breadcrumbs and fry gently for about 5 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
14. Pour in the sherry and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and black pepper.
15. To serve, halve each grouse and arrange on two warm serving plates. Add the bacon. Pour over the gravy and serve the bread sauce, game chips and game crumbs alongside.
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