To celebrate the grouse season, chef Michael Wignall of The Latymer shares his favourite grouse recipe.

Chef Michael Wignall’s Grouse
Serves

Ingredients

  • 1 grouse
  • For the sauce
  • 1 litre of grouse light stock
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 250ml Madeira
  • 200ml ruby port
  • For the garnish
  • 500g peeled and sliced chervil root
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 350ml water
  • BBQ Crapaudines
  • 4 Crapaudines
  • Cabbage Glass
  • 8 Savoy Cabbage Leaves
  • Olive Oil
  • Spruce Oil
  • 500g Spruce Branches
  • 250ml Pomace Oil
  • 2 Punnets of Wheatgrass
  • Choucroutte
  • 200g Very finely diced Alsace bacon which has been fried until crispy
  • 1 Savoy Cabbage, very finely sliced, blanched and refreshed in iced water
  • 2 bottles of Gewurztraminer
  • 250mil Chardonnay Vinegar
  • ¼ Bunch of Thyme
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 40g Lightly coloured Alsace Bacon, finely diced
  • To finish
  • 4 lightly glazed Scottish girolle mushrooms and sliced cob nuts
Method
  1. Preparing the bird
    Legs
    The day before remove the legs from the crown. Once the legs have been removed, season with garlic and thyme and a little Maldon salt. Leave for one hour to marinate, then wash the legs thoroughly. Now place in a vac bag with oil and seal, cook at 68°C for 8 hours, until soft. Flake the meat from the bone and place in a pan and mix with your grouse sauce.

    Crown
    Prep the Grouse crown, ensuring that the ‘wish bone’ is removed, shin on and guts out. Fill each cavity with cowberries and heather. Place the bird into a vac pack pouch and seal on full. Cook for 32 minutes at 58°C. Remove bird from the bag and colour in a pan of melted butter (approx. 100g butter needed), basting your bird until golden brown, repeating for approx. 5 minutes. Allow bird to rest before for 8 minutes then remove the breast from the crown, and serve.
  2. For the sauce
    Colour the grouse trim and the bones (removed during preparation), garlic and thyme in a large pan. Remove the trim and the bones from the pan and drain off any excess fat and exchange the remaining liquor into a clean pan. Deglaze with the port and Madeira, then reduce by ¾. Adding the chicken stock. Reduce, until the desired consistency is reached, taste and season if necessary. Re-pass through a fine cloth and serve.
  3. For the garnish
    Melt the butter in a pan. Sweat the chervil root in the butter until slightly soft. Add the water and simmer for 25 minutes. Using a food processor, blend the entire contents of the pan, seasoning to taste. Finally, pass the blended mixer through a fine chinois.
  4. BBQ Crapaudines
    Heat coals until hot. Foil the crapaudines and place into the hot coals, standing them on their ends. BBQ for 1 1/2 hours, turning them every half an hour.
  5. Cabbage Glass
    Blanch the savoy cabbage leaves in well seasoned, boiling water, until well cooked. Refresh the leaves exchanging them into iced cold water. Drain thoroughly. Place the leaves between a dry cloth and press to get rid of any remaining water. Lightly brush two sheets of grease proof paper with olive oil and lay out the leaves upon one of them, place the other grease proof paper on top and using a rolling pin press the Savoy cabbage leaves until thin but not broken. Now place in a 64°C dehydrator or an oven at the same temperature for 18 hours.
  6. Spruce Oil
    Heat the oil to 75°C and pour over the spruce branches. Using a food processor, blitz the oil and spruce branches and pass through a fine cloth. Add the wheatgrass and blitz the mixture again. Place the mixture within a very fine cloth and hang over a bowl (your bowl needs to be sat in another which contains ice), allowing the purified mixture to enter the bowl and cool upon contact.
  7. Choucroute
    Put all the ingredients in a suitable sized pan and reduce, changing the pan size as the liquor reduces by every half. Repeat until you have a syrup-like consistency.
  8. Garnish with 4 lightly glazed Scottish girolle mushrooms and sliced cob nuts,