Back on the menu Glorious grouse

The grouse season began again on August 12th – famously known as the Glorious 12th. Wellocks beat the clock to deliver the first grouse from Yorkshire’s Bingley moor in time for service to Michael Wignall, executive head chef at Devon’s Gidleigh Park hotel in our longest ever race.

Far from glorious, this year’s 12th was cold, windy with low temperatures making for a difficult shoot. On Bingley Moor, Wellocks’ game supplier Pinnacle Game collected and wrapped the grouse ready for the dash southwest. The first leg of the journey was driven by one of our sale reps Dan Whitmore. Dan handed the grouse over to Robin Stock, our south sales rep, who completed the final stage of this 300 mile delivery.

The grouse arrived at Gidleigh Park just before 7pm for Michael and his team to prep for evening service – an exciting tradition on the first day of the season and one that Wellocks is delighted to continue.

For the 2016 season, Michael has created a gorgeous grouse dish that celebrates the flavours of late summer and hints at the coming autumn. The fresh grouse is poached and served with lavender honey and bilberry granola, haslet, bacon roasted sand carrot, sunflower hearts and tempura petals with runner beans in game oil and Minus 8’s sweet sixteen.

Pinnacle Game’s Chris Emmot explained why Bingley Moor grouse are such a high quality. These grouse are not bred for shooting but are wild birds roaming free between Bingley and Ilkley moors, he explains. Gamekeepers maintain the moors and the upkeep of the land is something that enriches the bird’s health. Heather plays a huge part in the grouse’s diet and this is burnt for two to three months before the season starts to increase the yield.

The meat is exceptionally fine; dark with a rich maroon-coloured flesh that has a deep, unique flavour. Each grouse is dressed and plucked to your specification, and individually wrapped in greaseproof paper and boxed ready for delivery.

Watch our video from the Glorious 12th here.