There are few things worse than a dry old bird. Here is how to make your bird moist and succulent once more. By simply dropping the grouse (what did you think we were talking about?) into some simmering stock, tenderness will be restored for perfect roast grouse.

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Roast Grouse
Serves 4
■ 1 litre (13⁄4 pints) chicken stock
■ 4 grouse
■ 100g (31⁄2oz) butter
■ Sea salt and black pepper
■ 4 large bunches thyme

This is not so much a recipe as a technique. There is nothing worse than a dry old grouse, or any gamebird for that matter. Start by bringing the stock to the boil, then turn it down low. Remove the legs from the birds (we generally save them up and cook them as an appetiser) and plunge the crowns in the simmering stock. This captures the moisture in the meat and ensures a perfect result.
Remove them after 10 minutes and allow them to cool a little. Next, brush them with melted butter, season well with salt and pepper, and shove a bundle of thyme up each bird’s bum. Then brown them well in a pan and roast them in a 180°C/350°F/
Gas Mark 4 oven for six minutes.
Take them out and rest for five minutes before carving. Serve with fried garlic potatoes, bread sauce, beans and some very expensive red wine, perhaps a burgundy. A perfect roast grouse.