Grouse with blaeberries

Serves 4
  • @HixRestaurants

As grouse is such a crazy price at the beginning of the season, half a grouse is a cost-effective way to serve it as a starter or middle course. Grouse feed actively on the young gorse shoots and wild blaeberries that grow on the banks of grouse moors. If you can't find the latter, then you could use small cultivated blueberries or even elderberries.

2 young oven-ready grouse, preferably with their giblets
A few leaves of sage
A good knob of butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ a glass, or 150ml, of port
4 slices of toast from a small bloomer type loaf, or a large baguette
50g or so of blaeberries

Preheat the oven to 240C/gas mark 8. Season the grouse, rub with butter and put the sage leaves inside the birds. Roast with the giblets in for 12-15 minutes, basting the breasts as they are cooking, then leave to rest.

Next, remove the legs, scoop out the giblets and discard the sage. Remove the meat from the legs and finely chop with the giblets.

Pour the port into the cooking pan and stir on a low heat to remove any residue in the pan. Transfer to a small bowl; add the blaeberries.

Toast the bread and spread with the chopped leg and giblets. Remove the breasts from the grouse and slice into 6 pieces; arrange on the toast. Spoon over the blaeberries and garnish with salad leaves if you like.