The Oxford Magazine is launching a new digital print magazine.
The Oxford Magazine is launching a new digital print magazine.

Roast Grouse with Blackberries and Port Wine Jus Recipe

This roast grouse recipe from William Drabble is best served in late August, when the grouse is still young and tender and blackberries are just coming into season.

2 Hours and 30 Minutes (Including prep time) Medium Serves 4


For the roast grouse:
  • 4 grouse, including giblets
  • 500g of duck fat
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • salt
  • pepper
For the potato galette:
  • 3 large potatoes
  • 100g of seasoned flour
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 200g of breadcrumbs
  • oil
For the sauce:
  • 100ml of olive oil
  • 100g of butter
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 2 flat mushrooms
  • 200ml of port
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 punnet of blackberries, fresh
  • 200ml of chicken stock
  • 300ml of veal jus
To plate:
  • 1 savoy cabbage
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 24 blackberries
  • salt
  • pepper


To prepare the grouse:

  • Remove the legs and wings from 4 grouse. Separate the thigh from the drumstick by cutting through joint. Remove the intestines, reserving the hearts and livers.
  • Cut out the spine, crop and wishbone so that you are left with the crown i.e. the breasts on the bone.
  • Place the thighs in a pan with the duck fat and confit slowly over a very low heat for an hour or until the meat is tender. Remove the meat from the thigh, making sure there is no bone or lead shot and flake the meat.

To make the sauce:

  • Put the olive oil and butter into a pan. When it starts to foam add the drum sticks, wings and spine bone from the bird and slowly caramelise.
  • Add the sliced shallots and garlic, cook until soft then add the sliced mushrooms. Cook until the water in the mushrooms has evaporated and they start to caramelise.
  • Drain the fat from the pan, deglaze with the port and add the bones back to the pan with the thyme and fresh blackberries.
  • Boil until the bones become glazed then add the chicken stock and jus bring up to the boil and skim.
  • Cook slowly for 20 minutes then pass through a fine chinois or sieve lined with four layers of muslin cloth into a clean pan. Bring up to the boil and reduce, skimming all of the time until you achieve a light syrupy consistency.

To make the potato galettes:

  • Bake the potatoes until soft. Scoop the centres out and put to one side.
  • Sauté the livers and hearts and then chop to a smooth paste along with the confit thigh meat.
  • Mix the potato into the paste meat a little at a time until you get the taste you require (it can be quite strong). Season with salt and pepper, then form into four round discs approximately 1 cm thick. Allow to set in the fridge.
  • Put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs on three separate plates. Coat the set potato discs first in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Set aside.

Putting it all together:

  • Remove the dark green outer leaves from the cabbage and discard. Removing the tender green leaves and cut out the stalk. Slice the leaves very thinly then place into boiling salted water until tender and then straight into iced water. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a hot pan. Season the grouse with salt and pepper and seal all over until golden brown. Transfer to the oven and cook at 180ºC/Gas mark 4 for 4-8 minutes depending on the size of the bird. Leave to rest in a warm place.
  • In the meantime, cook the potato galette in a deep fryer until golden brown and crispy.

To serve:

  • Reheat the cabbage in a little butter and season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Place the blackberries into the sauce at the last minute just to warm through then remove breasts from bird and keep warm.
  • For each plate, place some of the cabbage in the centre of the dish and place a galette on top. Arrange two roast grouse breasts on top of the galette, one on top of the other and arrange the six blackberries around cabbage.
  • Bring the sauce back up to the boil and check for consistency (you may want to whisk a little bit of butter into your sauce at this point just to smooth it out and make it shine) then pour over and around the roast grouse and serve.

This roast grouse recipe is courtesy of Great British Chefs.

More from The Oxford Magazine