Roast grouse with bread sauce, bacon salad and game chips

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Serves 4

The difference with this recipe is that I have set the bread sauce in the fridge, and then floured and pan-fried it rather like you would do with polenta. I've tossed home-made game chips into the salad here, but you could easily use a packet of good quality vegetable crisps, which would add colour to the dish.

2 grouse

1tbsp vegetable oil
A couple of good knobs of butter
60-70g unsliced smoked streaky bacon, cut into 1/2cm cubes (you can buy these ready cut)
A handful of small salad leaves
Flour for dusting
1/2tbsp good quality red wine vinegar
2tbsp walnut oil

For the bread sauce

1 small onion, peeled and halved
50g butter
3 cloves
1 bay leaf
500ml milk
Pinch of ground nutmeg
120g fresh white breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper

First make the bread sauce: finely chop half the onion and cook it gently in half the butter until soft. Stud the other half with the cloves, pushing them through the bay leaf to anchor it. Put the milk, nutmeg and studded onion in the saucepan with the cooked onion and bring to the boil. Season and simmer for 10–15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave the sauce to infuse for 30 minutes or so. Take out and discard the studded onion. Add the breadcrumbs and return one-third of the bread sauce from the pan into a blender and process, then return to the pan and add the remaining 25g butter. Stir until the sauce has amalgamated, check and correct the seasoning and transfer to a shallow container so the sauce is about 1cm thick, leave to cool and place in the fridge for a few hours until set.

Preheat the oven to 220/gas mark 7. Season the grouse, rub with the softened butter then place in a tray and roast for 15 minutes, keeping the grouse pink. Turn the set bread sauce out on to a board and cut into four pieces. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and cook the bacon for 3-4 minutes until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, then coat the set bread sauce in flour. Add the rest of the butter to the pan and fry the slices of bread sauce on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden. Remove the breasts and legs from the grouse and shred up any bits of meat that are left on the bone and toss through the salad with the bacon and lightly dress and season. Slice the breast and arrange on the bread sauce then arrange on plates with the salad with a few crisps in among the salad leaves.

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