Grouse with corn purée and roast figs

Grouse with corn purée and roast figs

By
From
Spring
Serves
4
Photographer
Andy Sewell

I prefer grouse early in the season when their flavour is sweeter and milder than a little later in the year. The accompanying sweet, young corn and plump, roasted figs work beautifully with these young grouse. Later in the year, when their flavour is more intense, I pair the birds with more robust flavours, such as porcini, barolo and smoky meats.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 grouse, plucked and cleaned
4 garlic cloves, peeled
8 large thyme sprigs
50g unsalted butter
250ml sweet red wine, such as valpolicella
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the corn purée

Quantity Ingredient
2 corn cobs, outer husks removed
250ml milk
1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons golden caster sugar
30g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons creme fraiche

For the figs

Quantity Ingredient
8 ripe figs
4 thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons vincotto
20g unsalted butter

Method

  1. First, make the corn purée. Stand the corn upright, pointed end down, on a board and strip the kernels from the cobs by running a sharp knife from top to bottom. Put the kernels in a saucepan with the milk, chilli, sugar and a good pinch of salt. Top up with enough water to just cover the corn. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer until the corn is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, saving ­ tbsp of the cooking liquid.
  2. Purée the corn with the reserved liquor in a blender until smooth, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve and return to a clean pan. Add the butter and crème fraîche and warm over a low heat until the butter is absorbed. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and a little pepper; the purée should be well seasoned.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Slice or tear the figs in half and place them in a roasting tin. Scatter over the thyme, season with a little salt and pepper and drizzle over the oil and vincotto. Cook on the middle shelf of the oven until the figs are just soft and have begun to ooze a little of their juice. Remove from the oven and add a knob of butter. Stir gently, allowing the butter to melt into the cooking juices. Set aside.
  4. Turn the oven up to ­200°C. Season the grouse inside and out with salt and pepper and add a garlic clove and ­ sprigs of thyme to each cavity. Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter. When it is hot, colour the grouse, two at a time, until well browned all over. Transfer to a roasting tin.
  5. Add the wine to the pan, turn up the heat, stir to deglaze and let the liquor bubble to reduce by half. Pour this liquor over the grouse and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the birds to rest in a warm place while you reheat the figs and warm the corn purée gently over a low heat.
  6. To serve, spoon the corn purée onto warm plates. Lay the grouse alongside and finish with the figs and their juices.
Tags:
Skye Gyngell
seasonal
Spring
London
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