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Celebrate The Glorious Twelfth with Richard Corrigan's recipe for Grouse Pie

Looking to kick off game season with a bang? This glorious pie recipe from the king of classic British cooking, Richard Corrigan, is a beautiful way to celebrate wild food

Serves 4

Preparation time 1

Cooking time 1.5

We hear you : August?! It's still summer! It feels far too early to be celebrating game season, but no, much like the chanterelle mushroom which is traditionally best associated with Autumn but actually begins coming into season in July, game – and grouse in particular – kicks things off a lot earlier than expected.

Famously celebrated as Glorious Twelfth, the 12th of August marks the beginning of grouse shooting season and, with it, the the imminent arrival of the wider game season.

An activity popularised in the mid-19th century (thanks to the arrival of the railways that made travelling into the countryside with your shooting kit a lot easier), grouse shooting has a long and at times fraught history with English culture, but ultimately remains a leisure activity with wider benefits for rural communities and pest control. That is, as with any wildlife shooting, as long as the killed birds are then passed on for consumption. Waste not, want not.

There are many wonderful ways to cook with grouse, but who better to guide you than Richard Corrigan? The eminent Irish chef has had a storied career both here and back in his home country based on an approach to cooking that heroes British and Irish ingredients and creates the best possible versions of classic dishes from around the UK. This grouse pie is no exception, utilising madeira and foie gras for an unctuous, rich flavour profile that will have you scooping up seconds.

Ingredients

For the pie

  • 2 grouse
  • 200g button mushrooms (washed)
  • 8 shallots (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 6 savoy cabbage leaves (blanched and stalks removed)
  • 150g foie gras
  • 100ml Madeira
  • 250ml veal stock
  • Salt & pepper
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 100g mirepoix (25g finely chopped carrot, 25g finely chopped celery, 25g finely chopped shallot and 25g finely chopped leek)

For the pastry

  • 250g strong flour
  • 125g beef fat (minced)
  • 20ml ice water
  • 1tsp cracked black pepper

Method

  1. Remove legs and breast from the bone with the livers and heart, roast the bones and leave to one side. Seal the breast in butter, 1 minute on each side. Place on a cooling tray to rest.
  2. Caramelise the mushrooms in a large heavy pan, then place on a chopping board and chop until fine. Place the shallots and garlic in a pan and cook until soft. Next, add the chopped mushrooms and half the madeira and cook until dry. Leave to cool.
  3. Chop the grouse bones and lay out in a pan with the mirepoix and a little oil and caramelise. Add the madeira and cover with the stock. Cook for 1 hour then pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Next add the grouse legs and braise slowly for 1½ hours or until the leg meat is soft. Take the liver and heart from the grouse and chop. Add to the mushrooms.
  4. Heat a pan and cut the foie gras in half, colour on both sides. Season and remove from the pan, any fat left in the pan should be added to the mushrooms.
  5. To make the pastry, combine everything together and cling film the mixture. Leave in the fridge for 1 hour.
  6. Using a large square of cling film placed on a bench, lay a cabbage leaf in the middle, then the mushroom mixture on top, then the grouse breast. Next, place a seasoned piece of foie gras on top of the grouse breast. Finally, add another grouse breast and a final layer of mushroom.
  7. Pull all four corners of the cling film together and tie. Leave in the fridge and repeat with the other grouse breasts. You should have two large cabbage balls ready to cover in pastry.
  8. Remove the cling film from the cabbage. Roll out the pastry and cover with egg yolk using a pastry brush, particularly the sides. With the cabbage ball in the centre, pull the pastry up and around to encase the cabbage.
  9. Remove excess pastry and place on a baking tray. Place the pies in a 180°C oven for 12 minutes. Remove and leave to rest on separate plates. Cut the pies in half and place a half on each plate.
  10. Place a leg on top and spoon over the sauce. This dish goes really well with a generous spoonful of pickled cabbage. Spoon over sauce and serve.
  11. For the sauce: Reduce the braising liquid by half and add a knob of cold butter. Remove the thigh bone from the leg and warm the legs in the sauce.
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