A Few Bird Recipes From the UK

October 5, 2011 | By | 2 Replies More

Your pithiviers is served....

How do you cook your birds? We’ve found two ways: slow and fast. Sounds goofy, but we’re serious: Cook strong-tasting woodies fast and eat rare on a cracker with hot sauce or even horseradish, and cook mouth-watering grouse and pheasants slow so you don’t dry ’em out.

Oddly, while we do branch out gastronomically with lesser meats, like chicken, we rarely do with our earned fowl. Maybe you’re the same way or, if you like to cook ’em up fine, we salute you and let us know how.

Anyhow, we ran across these semi-recipes (presentations?) in the UK’s Independent newspaper:

> Chef Jérôme Ponchelle ties bacon on to the [grouse] breast, places the bird on its side in a cast-iron skillet, then sears it in duck fat before throwing it into a hot oven. It gets two minutes, is turned for two minutes on the other side, a further two minutes on its back and a final two with the bacon removed. Then the grouse rests on its breast for five minutes to let the juices permeate while Ponchelle sautés fresh bacon to dress the bird for serving and throws crumbs into herb-infused milk for the all-important bread sauce.

> At Club Gascon, Pascal Aussignac garnishes his grouse with mussels steamed in Guinness: “The way the bitterness of the reduction complements the bird is just stunning,” he says. A slight bitterness is a characteristic of grouse that has been hung for a week, and Aussignac didn’t put his [birds] on the menu till 20 August to allow for hanging. He has played to the bitterness of the bird in the past with a smoked chocolate sauce and chicory confit and says: “Grouse is the strongest game you can get in terms of taste, and I love it.” [Not here in the U.S.!]

> Brett Graham of The Ledbury, who is a keen shot himself, is serving grouse with red vegetables and leaves, foie gras and cherries, “but as the season progresses it will go to poached and roasted with walnut milk, chanterelles and prunes cooked in smoky China tea.”

> Karam Sethi of Trishna has taken inspiration from his family shoot in India. He marinates grouse breasts overnight in a spice mix with yoghurt and mustard oil before grilling for 3-5 minutes in the tandoor. “Then we bone out the leg, combine the meat with garlic, chilli and shallots and stuff it into a naan.” [Remember that the UK grouse tastes stronger.]

> The Cinnamon Club is another Indian restaurant showcasing game. Grouse served with Jerusalem artichoke mash and char-grilled crown of partridge in a rich korma sauce with dry fruit pilaf figure in a special five-course menu from this month.

> Antonin Bonnet of The Greenhouse combines grouse with partridge and pheasant in a pithiviers served with chestnut honey, truffled jus and wild leaves. Late-season grouse will be served on its own with a foam of cocoa nibs, coffee mash and black trumpet mushrooms.

[Sounds awesome. No idea what a pithiviers is, but check out this doozy of a pheasant pithiviers recipe.]

> At Club Gascon, Pascal Aussignac serves woodcock uncompromisingly à la française, with the whole head on the side, sliced through from brain to beak. “Most diners leave it, but we don’t let the best part go to waste – we finish up the left-overs in the kitchen!”

If we weren’t before, we are now officially ready to go hunting….


Category: Pheasants, Recipes, Red grouse

Comments (2)

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  1. Bill Fontanazza says:

    Damn, they don’t have a recipe with Cream of Mushroom soup?

    What have I been doing to my pheasants and grouse all these years?

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