Pan Fried Grouse with Blackberries and Blackberry Dressing
Serving based on one grouse person
Traditionally, grouse is roasted whole and served with game chips and bread sauce, which is very good, but sometimes a little rich and heavy. We chose to make ours lighter and more modern with summer-into-autumn flavours by pan-frying the breasts and serving them with a salad of lamb’s lettuce and just-picked blackberries.
- grouse (1 per person)
- small sprig of thyme
- cider vinegar plus some water
- caster sugar
- lambs lettuce
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to prepare the grouse
Remove the breasts from the grouse. To do this you first need to remove the legs by cutting through the joint close to the ribcage. Then take a very sharp small knife and cut parallel with the breast bone on one side first, making quick light cuts keeping as close to the bone as possible to release the meat – then repeat with the second side. The breasts will come away easily.
To make the dressing
This a very much an adhoc recipe, hence no specific quantities. In a small saucepan add a splash of cider vinegar and some water, chuck in a handful of blackberries along with the thyme and simmer until the fruit is soft and breaking up.
Pour the juice and fruit into a jug through a sieve.
Squash and rub all the juice and pulp from the berries through the sieve and mix the puree into the juice. Add some caster sugar to taste – this is where you’ll need to be a judge of the balance of sweet and sour. If it needs more sourness add a drop more vinegar.
Return the juice to the saucepan and simmer until the volume of the liquid has halved and become syrupy in consistency. Set aside to cool.
To cook the grouse
In a frying pan, heat a little oil. When the pan is really hot place the grouse breasts skinned side down and cook for 2 minutes, turn them over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the grouse breasts to rest for another 2 minutes before slicing.
Assemble the salad (for 2)
Put some lambs lettuce on to serving dishes, scatter with a few blackberries. Place the sliced grouse breast on top, season with salt and pepper and drizzle over the dressing. If you want to make the salad more substantial the addition of sautéed potatoes will make it more hearty.
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