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Grouse with Truffle Sauce

on mushroom wild rice

First get a pan of slightly salted water to a gentle simmer and place the rice in along with a couple a springs of rosemary. It will need roughly 45-50 minutes. It will be done when the grains have swelled and burst slightly. Add more water during if it becomes low.

When the rice is half cooked, place a frying pan on a medium to high heat and preheat the oven to 200°C.

Rub sea salt into the skin of the bird and then drizzle over some oil to cover. It is your choice to leave or remove the feet at this point. Place in the frying pan and sear all sides until golden. This should take a few minutes.

Remove from the heat, lay two rashers of bacon over the top and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes covered when removed from the oven.

For the sauce, add the cream and the truffle oil to a small saucepan on a medium to low heat and whisk to combine. Now add the wine squeeze of lemon juice, few cracks of black pepper, and the bay leaf. To add the garlic clove, remove the skin and then crush slightly with the flat side of a knife. Leave to heat gently whilst stirring often. Remove the garlic clove and bay leaf before serving.

For the rice, drain and set to the side for a moment. Into a large frying pan, on a medium heat, add a large knob of butter followed by the mushrooms and the garlic by mincing first. Continue to heat for a couple of minutes and then add the rice and stir through.

To serve, remove the bacon fro the bird and carve away the two breast and legs along with surrounding meat. Plate by deviating equally over the rice with the bacon too and a drizzle of the sauce.

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Grouse generally come with their feet still on from the butchers, as do most birds. However it is much more noticeable on a grouse, to which they have wispy feathers down to the toes. This is an evolutionary advantage to walking on snow and surviving the harsh highland winters. I like to leave them on when cooking, partly to provoke a bit of a reaction to whomever I am cooking for and partly as it is such a recognisable signature of the bird.

Keep ya socks on!

In their natural habitat, indigenous mainly throughout Scotland, the grouse mainly feeds on the shoots, seeds and flowers of heather. To me this sounds far superior to the ‘corn feed’ labeled chicken you see in supermarkets.

dscf2380
Duncery Beacon, Exmoor
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