Recipe from Mac & Wild, from the article “London’s Game Plan,” in the April-May 2020 issue.
Highlanders roast grouse served on burning wild heathers
Prescribed burning is one of the oldest and most powerful land-management tools for the conservation of wildlife. “Muirburn” is the practice of burning old growth on a heather moor to encourage new growth for game, such as grouse, and livestock. This Highlanders’ roast grouse served on burning wild heathers infuses wild game and the earth into one dish to create a unique dining experience.
- 1 oven-ready grouse
- ½ ounce wild Scottish heathers (or any woody shrub such as pine)
- 1 ounce hay or dry grass
- 5 sprigs native lavender
- 3 sprigs thyme
- Vegetable oil, to coat
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
For the Brown Butter
Place unsalted butter in a saucepan over a high heat. Whisk the butter until it has split (melted and the water begins to evaporate or begins to bubble), turn the heat to low and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. The butter will caramelize which in turn will flavor and color the clarified butter.
1. Drizzle some vegetable oil and sprinkle salt on the grouse.
2. Sear the outside of the grouse in a dry frying pan over high heat.
3. Rest in the oven at 150F for 8 to 10 minutes for medium-cooked meat.
4. Carve and remove the cooked breast meat from the carcass.
5. Take a warm bowl and fill the base of the bowl with your hay.
6. Lay the roasted grouse carcass on top, centrally, and place the carved breasts back onto the carcass.
Garnish the bowl with the fresh sprigs of herbs and heathers and finish the grouse with a drizzle of brown butter and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Cooking times may vary depending upon altitude, kitchen equipment, type of meat, and desired doneness. Be sure to use a food thermometer to check whether meat has reached a safe internal temperature that is hot enough to kill harmful germs that cause food poisoning. According to US government guidelines, safe internal temperatures are 145F for steak, 165F for poultry and ground poultry, and 160F for ground beef, pork, veal, or lamb.
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