Grouse Casserole

Grouse cooked in red wine and stock and served with a redcurrant-flavoured sauce, this delicious dish is a marvellous way of cooking grouse that are too old to be roasted. Serve it with broccoli and boiled new potatoes – and a full-bodied

Burgundy, such as Beaune.

2 grouse, cleaned

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 oz. butter carrots, scraped and sliced

1 celery stalk, chopped

2 medium-sized onions, chopped bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

8 fl. oz. game stock

10 fl. oz. red wine

1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Rub the grouse all over with the salt and pepper.

In a large flameproof casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. Place the grouse in the casserole and cook them, turning occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are brown on all sides. Remove the grouse from the casserole and set them aside.

Add the carrots, celery and onions to the casserole. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are beginning to brown.

Return the grouse to the casserole and add the bouquet garni, stock and wine. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to the boil. Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Bake for 1 to la-bours, basting occasionally, or until the grouse are tender and the juice that runs out when the thighs are pierced with a skewer is only faintly rosy.

Remove the casserole from the oven and lift out the grouse. Set them aside on a carving board and keep them warm.

Strain the cooking juices into a medium-sized saucepan. Place the pan over high heat and boil until the liquid has reduced by one-quarter.

Stir in the redcurrant jelly and continue stirring until the jelly has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and keep the sauce warm.

Carve the grouse and arrange the slices in a warmed serving dish.

Pour the sauce over the grouse and serve at once.