Roast Grouse with White Polenta, Cobnuts and Blackberries
• 4 whole long legged grouse,
• hearts and livers intact
• 200g fresh cobnuts – shells removed
• 200g wild blackberries
• 2 sheets filo pastry
• 2 shallots, sliced
• 1/2 bunch thyme
• 50ml port • 1L brown chicken stock
• 800ml white chicken stock
• 180g white polenta
• 100g butter
• 20g parmesan
• 50ml milk
• 5g truffle (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C and season the grouse well with salt and pepper. Sear the grouse on both sides in a heavy oven-proof frying pan, cooking for two minutes on each side.
2. Place the grouse on its back and into the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
3. Make the polenta while your birds are roasting and resting. Bring the white chicken stock to the boil and add the polenta, stirring regularly for 8-10 minutes and season well with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, add 50g butter, the grated truffle and the parmesan and milk. Work well with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy, cover and reserve for later.
4. Remove the livers and hearts and return these to the frying pan, add in half of the shallots, half of the port, a few leaves of thyme and reduce until sticky. Once reduced, place onto a chopping board and chop well.
5. To make the pastilla’s, roll the liver up in the filo pastry like a cigar. These can be baked or pan fried.
6. For the sauce, use the same pan again and fry the remaining shallots and thyme. Add the rest of the port and reduce by half. Add the brown chicken stock and reduce by half again and pass your rich gamey sauce through a fine sieve into a pan with the cobnuts and blackberries ready to serve.
7. Remove the birds from the pan and serve as they are or remove the legs and breasts. To dress the plate, add a large spoonful of the polenta, place the pastilla on top, and arrange the breasts and legs around and the sauce with the nuts and berries over the top.
8. It is a good idea to keep the carcasses, as these will yield a lovely deep gamey broth if simmered for a few hours with some vegetables.