Braised grouse is the perfect way to use up your freezer birds. Team with polenta and tomato for a fresh, yet hearty, lunch.

Braised grouse with tomato, Parmesan and polenta is a delicious game recipe that will use up any tough old birds you may have lurking in the freezer. A braised grouse recipe gives the bird a chance to tenderise as it cooks, an important facet of any game recipe that deals with older birds. So if your grouse shooting yields a healthy bag, too many to keep making the traditional roast grouse recipe, then keep them in the freezer and use to brighten the winter months as follows.

Braised grouse with tomato, Parmesan and wet polenta

Serves 12

For the braised grouse

6 grouse (defrosted)

6 tbsp olive oil

3 red onions, finely diced

3 heads fennel, finely diced

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

1.2kg (2lb 10oz) chopped, tinned tomatoes

4 tsp dried oregano

300ml (101⁄2fl oz) red wine

400ml (131⁄2fl oz) game stock (or beef/chicken)


For the wet polenta

1.5 litres (21⁄2 pints) water

900g (2lb) polenta

150g (5oz) butter

150g (5oz) parmesan, grated

4 tbsp finely chopped parsleyThis braised grouse makes a wonderful starter or a warming lunch.

In a saucepan, sear the grouse on a medium heat in four tablespoons of the olive oil. Once browned, remove from the pan and put in the onions, fennel, garlic and the remaining oil.

Season the vegetables with salt and cook until starting to soften (about five minutes). Then add the tomatoes, oregano, wine, 300ml (101⁄2fl oz) of the stock and a few twists of black pepper. Give it a good stir then return the grouse, breast side down.

Cook on a low heat with the lid on for about 1½ hours, occasionally basting the grouse with the sauce. You want the meat to be tender.

Remove the grouse from the sauce and when cool enough to handle remove the skin and shred the meat off the bone.

Once shredded, put the meat back into the sauce and check the seasoning (you may want to add the remaining stock if the sauce looks a little dry). Keep hot.

To cook the polenta, bring the water to the boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add a pinch of salt then slowly pour in the polenta in a steady stream, whisking the whole time. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until the polenta is no longer grainy.

Finally, whisk in all the butter and 100g (4oz) of the parmesan.

When you are ready to serve it, put a pool of polenta on a plate and top it with a ladle of the shredded grouse in its sauce.

Finally, add a sprinkle of the remaining parmesan and the chopped parsley.