Roast stuffed grouse with late summer vegetables

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

I do like stuffing when it's been cooked inside the bird – it really gives a lot of flavour, but it also means that you don't have to serve potatoes alongside.

I've served some borlotti and cannellini beans with this dish – they are becoming increasingly popular with growers here. If you can't find fresh ones, don't worry, you could also use broad beans or any seasonal vegetables.

4 oven-ready grouse, preferably with their livers, or 60g cleaned duck livers
A couple of knobs of softened butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the stuffing

A couple of knobs of butter
1 small onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
Livers from the grouse or duck
1tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 sage leaves, chopped
2-3tbsp chopped parsley
60-80g fresh white breadcrumbs

For the garnish

60-80g podded weight of borlotti or cannellini beans, cooked
4-6 runner beans, sliced, cooked
A couple of knobs of butter

For the sauce

100ml red wine
150ml dark meat stock

Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Remove the grouse from the fridge about an hour before cooking. To make the stuffing, heat the butter in a frying pan, season the livers and quickly fry them for 2-3 minutes, keeping them pink; transfer to a plate. Add the onion, thyme and sage to the pan and cook on a low heat, stirring every so often for 2-3 minutes. Mix with the breadcrumbs and parsley. Roughly chop the livers and add to the stuffing mixture and season. Stuff into the cavity of the grouse. Season the birds, then heat an oven-proof pan on the stove with a little butter and lightly brown the birds on the breasts and legs; then roast for 15 minutes, keeping them nice and pink and basting every so often.

Remove the birds from the pan and keep warm. Place the pan on the stove top on a medium flame, add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon to remove any cooking juices and residue from the base. Boil for a minute or so, then add the stock. Simmer until it's reduced and thickened, or you can dilute a little cornflour in water to thicken. Heat the vegetables in the butter and season. Serve the grouse whole with the sauce poured around and the vegetables scattered over.

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