Grouse Perfection

Grouse, chanterelles and blackberries

Could there be anything more seasonally apt than this recipe? They all arrive at more or less the same time and whilst this may not be a bumper year for grouse it is certainly one for the Chanterelles and the Blackberries. If you cannot get the lovely, woodland scented, bright yellow chanterelles easily this recipe will adapt and work very well with the cultivated oyster mushrooms now readily available in most supermarkets near you.

Serves two as a light lunch,

4 young grouse breasts

1 good handful of blackberries

2 handfuls of Chanterelles or Oyster mushrooms

Sprig of thyme

A bunch of watercress

Your very best olive oil

1 clove of garlic

Salt and pepper

A good knob of butter

Just a smidgeon of good sherry vinegar

First, let’s deal with the grouse – we want the grouse breasts to be liberally seasoned on both sides and allowed to come to close to room temperature before we try and cook them. They will want between 1.5 mins each side and 2 minutes each side and then at least a 5 minute rest before you try and cut them.

Sear them in a just over moderately hot pan with half the butter and a drizzle of olive oil. Remove them to a warm plate once they firm up a little – leave them there to rest whilst you cook the mushrooms.

Clean and trim your mushrooms. Chop a little garlic and scrape a few thyme leaves from the stem. Add a little more olive oil to the same pan you just cooked the grouse in. Turn the heat up a little higher and add the mushrooms – sauté them for a maximum of three minutes, add the garlic and the rest of the butter along with the thyme. Toss again and remove to the warmed plate with the grouse.

Turn off the heat in the pan and add a little more oil. Add the blackberries and just allow them to warm up a little, give a little juice, but not too much. Season them with salt and pepper. Add a dash of good sherry vinegar.

Wash and well-drain your watercress and arrange this scattered across two medium sized plates.

Scatter over the mushrooms and slice the grouse lengthways – scatter this over the watercress as well. Now, using a dessert spoon, dress both plates with the blackberries

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