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Pan-roasted first of the season young grouse, with apple and celeriac rösti, stewed blackcurrant and lemon thyme juices – by James MacKenzie

11 September 2006
Pan-roasted first of the season young grouse, with apple and celeriac rösti, stewed blackcurrant and lemon thyme juices – by James MacKenzie

Ingredients

(Serves 4)

For the grouse 4 dressed young grouse
50g butter
4 rashers streaky bacon
1 bunch lemon thyme
Juniper
20ml oil

For the sauce 100ml veal jus
50ml game stock
1 measure port
1tsp crushed juniper berries
For the röstis
50g grated Granny Smith apple
50g grated celeriac
200g grated potato
Salt and pepper

To serve 2tbsp fresh blackcurrants
12 dried apple slices

Method Smear the grouse with butter and season. Place a rasher of bacon around each grouse and secure with string. Place a little thyme and juniper inside each cavity. Sear on each side in a hot frying pan with a little oil. Place in a hot oven and roast for five minutes on each breast. Remove the bacon and return to the oven on their backs and roast for a further five minutes.

Take out of the oven and rest in a warm place until required. Roasting the birds for 15 minutes should leave the meat slightly pink, providing the searing stage has been thorough and the roast grouse are properly rested.

Pour off any excess fat from the roasting pan, then deglaze the pan with the port. Add the game stock, juniper and some thyme stalks and reduce by half. Strain through a fine chinoise into saucepan, add veal jus and heat to required consistency. Reserve.

To make the röstis, place the grated potato in a tea towel and squeeze out any water. Mix together the potato, apple and celeriac with a bit of fresh thyme and seasoning. Divide the potato mixture into four hot blini pans with a little oil and butter, press the mixture down and cook until golden brown. Turn the röstis over and cook the other side. Season and keep warm.

To serve, heat the rostis in the oven until crisp. Place one in the centre of each plate, remove the breasts and legs from the grouse and place on the rösti. Warm the sauce and drop in the blackcurrants and a few picked lemon thyme leaves. Gently heat until the fruit just starts to burst, then spoon round the plate and finish with the crisp bacon and dried apple slices.

James Mackenzie, head chef, the Star Inn, Harome, North Yorkshire

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