Nick Nairn

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - MAGAZINE -

Game sea­son is here – and I’m thrilled. I’ve been cook­ing grouse a lot lately, and re­ally en­joy­ing it. The trick is to make sure you’re eat­ing this year’s meat, which is a lit­tle lighter in flavour and full of suc­cu­lence. You’ll prob­a­bly have to or­der grouse from the butcher. Go for this year’s birds, rather than last year’s which will have a much stronger gamier taste.

Don’t be afraid of cook­ing grouse though – it’s a great lit­tle bird. If you think of it a lit­tle like a small chicken, then re­mov­ing the breasts from the car­cass will be less daunt­ing.

I take the skin off too, and wrap the skinned breasts in lovely pancetta. The butcher will sep­a­rate the bird for you if you pre­fer, but do it your­self and you can keep the rest for stock to make my grouse soup.

One of today’s recipes is for grouse soup – this is a less cheffy ver­sion of a con­sommé I’ve cooked re­cently. It’s quicker and sim­pler to make and is still packed full of flavour.

The sec­ond recipe for roast grouse wrapped in pancetta is a clas­sic dish and al­ways tasty. Give it a go.

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