Now, we're not trying to cause an argument here but chances are, your mum's roast is probably getting a little bit tired at this stage. We're sure it's satisfying and all but it's literally bringing nothing new to the table. Sorry but it's (probably) true.
In order to liven up a Sunday roast, we decided to speak to Francois O'Neill, owner of the Brompton Bar & Grill, who taught us a few things about trying roast grouse and all of the delicious accompaniments.
Your mum owes us.
How to make the bread sauce
1/2 large onion finely chopped
1/4 onion studded with 4 cloves
2 bay leaves
Pinch of nutmeg
75ml of milk
175g fresh breadcrumbs
In a pan add the studded onion, bay leafs and nutmeg and slowly bring to the boil and let the ingredients introduce themselves to each other. The aim is to infuse the milk.
In a separate pan sweat the chopped onion I in a little butter until soft.
When the milk has boiled remove the onion and bay leafs and add the milk to the chopped onions and bring to the boil again. When coming to the boil whisk in the breadcrumbs and cook slowly for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
How to make grouse gravy
2-3 carcasses of grouse
Vegetable (1/2 carrot, ½ leek, ½ onion, 2 bay leaf, 2 sprigs of thyme)
1 glass white wine
1/2 litre of veal stock
To make gravy for the birds we use the carcasses. One can also use cooked carcasses for the gravy if needs be. If you wanted, one could use a whole grouse to make the gravy (in this case you would only need to use one bird)
Chop the carcasses and to a hot pan and brown with a mixture of chopped vegetables (carrot, leek, onion, bay leaf, thyme). Once coloured add a glass of white wine and reduce. Then add 1/2 litre of veal stock and cook slowly for 30 minutes until you achieve a good gravy consistency. Pass through a sieve and season to taste.
How to make fried bread and fried breadcrumbs
8 pieces of white bread
Oil and butter
Take you bread and cut away the crusts. Take 4 pieces and place in a food processor and process until you have breadcrumbs. Add these to a frying pan with some oil and butter and season. Fry until dry and crispy and drain on kitchen paper. Clean the same pan with some paper and add some oil. Add the remaining 4 pieces of bread and cook gently in the oil till the bread is golden and crispy. Drain again on kitchen paper and season with a little salt.
How to make game chips
3 Maris Piper Potatoes
Vegetable oil for frying
Peel and wash the potatoes and slice very finely on a mandolin. When sliced rinse the slices under water to remove the starch and dry in a kitchen cloth. When ready add the potato slices to some pre heated vegetable oil set at 190 degrees. Fry until crispy and set to dry on kitchen paper and season lightly with some salt.
How to cook the grouse
4 whole grouse (plucked, gutted and prepared)
½ Lemon Juice
Season the prepared birds well with salt and black pepper.
In a hot pan add a little oil and place the birds on one side to colour the leg and breast then turn over the birds and do the same on the other side.
Turn the bird’s leg side up in the pan and place in a preheated oven at 200 degrees and cook for approx. 9 minutes. Remove from oven and allow resting for 5 minutes.
Once the birds have rested and you are ready to serve make a brown butter. Add the butter to a hot pan and let it turn nutty brown. When it turns nutty brown and starts to foam add the lemon juice and chopped parsley. This is what you will spoon over the birds.
To serve the grouse
Place a piece of fried bread on each plate and sit the grouse on top. Place a bunch of watercress in between each birds legs and the spoon a little nut butter over the each bird.
Serve immediately with the bread sauce, fried bread crumbs, game chips and gravy on the side.
(Image: Matthew Pearl)