Grouse with Brandy and Cream Sauce

A beautifully flavoured grouse casserole with a rich brandy, cream and mushroom sauce, this dish is expensive but easy to make. Serve it with game chips and grilled tomatoes for splendid dinner party meal. A light red Beaujolais would go very well with this dish.

2 oz. butter

4 small grouse, cleaned

10 fl. oz. game stock

2 fl. oz. brandy

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tablespoon cornflour dissolved in 2 tablespoons game stock 5 fl. oz. double cream 8 oz. small button mushrooms, wiped clean and halved

In a large heavy flameproof casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, put in two of the grouse and cook, turning frequently with tongs, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are well browned on all sides. With a slotted spoon, remove the grouse from the casserole and set aside.

Brown the remaining grouse in the same way and remove from the casserole. Pour out all but a thin layer of the fat from the casserole. Stir in the stock, brandy, salt, pepper, chives and garlic.

Return the grouse to the casserole and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the grouse are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Using two forks, remove the grouse from the casserole and set them aside. Keep warm.

Stir the dissolved cornflour into the liquid in the casserole. Then stir in the cream and mushrooms. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the sauce is thick and smooth.

Meanwhile, arrange the grouse decora-tively on a heated serving dish. Pour the sauce over the meat and serve immediately.