GROUSE –FEST AT THE GARRICK
The tradition of our annual Grouse Supper started at the Garrick— so it was good to be returning once again .The club has a strong theatrical and literary associations; indeed, the Garrick must be one of London’s most financially secure clubs having benefited from the will of Winnie-the-Pooh (alias A.A.Milne) when the sole publishing rights to Tigger and friends were sold to the Walt Disney Corporation (in excess of £50 million!)
A fine portrait of Thackeray looked down upon a delightful private dining room “oozing” atmosphere and packed to capacity-evidence, indeed, that this event is one of the most popular events in the Gastronome’s calendar.
This was a true “Grouse-Fest” consisting of 3 courses of Grouse (albeit that the pudding took a liquid form as Famous Grouse Whiskey flavouring a perfect individual soufflé!)
The starter of Grouse and Foie Gras Pie was in reality a delightful buttery pithivier –cooked “au dernier moment” filled with unctuous grouse and perfect Foie gras,a culinary triumph and one of the best starters this year (with a jolly good glass of Alsace ,what more could a Gastronome want??).
The main course -“the king of game birds”- was correctly hung ,pink around the breast bone ,and accompanied by proper game chips generously presented on the table .The 2001 Rhone was old-fashioned in style and much the better for it .Delicious!
Glasses were raised for the traditional ”Sante du Chef” for Clive Howes who received a mini standing ovation ! Several members remarked it was the best Grouse supper ever –praise indeed as the Reunion has enjoyed many such excellent suppers over the years.
Clive has generously offered to share his Grouse and Foie Gras recipe and it is featured below .Give it a try next Grouse Season!
The evening represented all that is best in Clubland –sound culinary skills coupled with a great sense of history and tradition; some of the elements often missing from their more modern hotel and restaurant cousins ?
Our thanks to our host, fellow Gastronome Olaf Born, for a great start to the autumn programme.
Grouse & Foie Gras Pie with Truffle Sauce (Recipe for 4 People)
Ingredients for Pie
– 1 Grouse with livers and heart(meat removed from the bone and skinned)
– 50g Smoked Streaky Bacon
– 60g Foie Gras(cut into 4 small pieces)
– 400g Butter Puff Pastry
– 1Shallot (finely chopped)
– 1Small Clove of Garlic (finely chopped)
– 25ml Port
– 25ml Madeira
– Parsley, Rosemary and Thyme (chopped)
– 1 Freshly Ground Nutmeg and Mace
– 3g Salt and Milled Pepper
– 1 Egg Yolk (mixed with a little water for glazing)
– 4Watercress Sprigs
Ingredients for Sauce
– Bones from Grouse (chopped)
– 1 Shallot (roughly chopped)
– 1 Garlic Clove (roughly chopped)
– 25g Bacon Trimmings
– 1 Sprig of Thyme
– 2 Juniper Berries (crushed)
– 1 Bay Leaf
– 50ml Red Wine
– 25ml Port
– 400ml Game or Veal Stock
– 25g Chopped Truffle
– 25g Butter
– Salt and Milled Pepper
Method for Pies
– Place the chopped shallot, garlic, port and Madeira into a saucepan and reduce to a glaze. Allow to cool.
– Mix the glaze with the grouse meat, livers, heart and the bacon. Preferably mince or place in a robot coupe and blend to make forcemeat.
– Mix in the herbs, a little nutmeg and mace and season with salt and milled pepper.
– Roll out the puff pastry thinly and cut out 8 discs 10cm diameter and allow to rest in a refrigerator for a few minutes.
– Lay 4 of the discs onto a non-stick baking tray and egg wash the edges of each disc.
– Using half of the forcemeat spoon equally between the 4 discs, season the Foie gras a place on top. With the remaining force meat place on top and using a spoon, create a dome encasing the foie gras within the forcemeat.
– Place over the top the remaining puff pastry discs, seal and crimp the edges. Brush with the egg wash and with a small knife starting in the middle of the pies, score to make a spiralling effect. Allow to rest for 1 hour in a refrigerator.
– Bake in an oven at 180c for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Method for Sauce
– Heat a saucepan with half of the butter and brown the grouse bones. bacon trimmings, shallots and garlic, Add the juniper berries, bayleaf and thyme, the red wine and port and reduce by half.
– Add the game or veal stock and bring to the boil, skim any fat that may have come to the surface and simmer for 30 minutes.
– Strain and reduce to the required sauce consistency and add the chopped truffle, season with salt and milled pepper and stir in the remaining butter to give the sauce a shine, do not re-boil or the butter will separate from the sauce.
Place the pies onto 4 plates and spoon around the truffle sauce make an incision into each pie and push in a sprig of watercress, and serve.