Grouse is in season – and has the best flavour – between the ‘glorious twelfth’ of August and December 10. Young, plump birds are excellent roasted.
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15g (½ oz) butter
2 shallots, chopped
200g (7oz) peeled chestnuts
200g (7oz) cranberries
1 tablespoon runny honey
4 oven-ready young grouse
Salt and black pepper
2 slices of streaky bacon, halved
4 slices of white bread
1 tablespoon walnut or hazelnut oil
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:40min › Ready in:55min
Heat the oven to 200°C, (400°F, gas mark 6). Melt the butter in a small pan, add the shallots and cook over a low heat for 5-6 minutes until soft. Add the chestnuts, cranberries and honey. Set aside to cool.
When cool, divide about half the mixture between the cavity of each bird. Place each on a piece of foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drape a piece of bacon over the breast of each. Spoon the remaining chestnuts and cranberries around the birds.
Tuck the foil loosely over each grouse and roast them in the oven for 20 minutes, then open the foil and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until browned and cooked through.
Stamp out four 7.5cm (3in) rounds from the bread and brush with oil. Toast under a hot grill until golden, turning once. Serve the grouse on the toasted croutes, with the cranberries, chestnuts and juices spooned over.