The season has commenced, so prepare to brine and dine with Philippa Davis' brined roast grouse with warm chard and sheep's cheese salad

The season has started so prepare to brine and dine. Philippa Davis’ brined roast grouse with warm chard and sheep’s cheese salad makes delicious use of your first brace. Brining is a simple process and allows the meat to take on extra moisture, ensuring that your grouse won’t be dry or tough. For lean meat such as game, this helps the muscle fibres to relax and become more tender.

Roasting your grouse is the best use of those young birds. Follow our traditional roast grouse recipe for a fail-safe game supper guaranteed to impress.


Serves 4 as a main

  • 4 oven ready grouse
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 400g chard
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 200g sheep’s cheese


  • 110g fine sea salt
  • 110g demerara sugar
  • 200ml cider
  • 1.8 litres cold water
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 dsp crushed peppercorns
  • 1 dsp crushed caraway
  • 1 dsp crushed juniper
  • 1 orange, peel only, cut into large strips (keep the juice for the grouse dressing)

Grouse dressing

  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar,
  • 1 orange juice only
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Splash of cold water

Place all the brine ingredients in a large pan and bring to a boil to dissolve the salt and sugar. Leave to cool completely.

Place your oven-ready grouse in the brine and weigh them down to submerge fully. Leave in the fridge for 45 minutes. Remove the grouse from the brine. At this stage you can leave for 12 hours or cook straight away. Discard the brine.

To cook the grouse, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. In an oven-friendly frying pan, sear the grouse on all sides on a medium heat in the oil, season with salt and pepper then roast in the oven for
14 minutes.

Leave to rest for a couple of minutes before transferring the grouse to a plate.

Put the pan back on a medium heat and add the grouse-dressing ingredients. Shake the pan to help the sauce emulsify and check the seasoning.

For the chard, blanch the chard in a large pan of salted boiled water for a couple of minutes and then drain.

In a pan, sauté the garlic in the butter and oil until just golden then add the chard and season.

To serve, lay the chard on a warmed plate. Carve the grouse into breasts and legs and place on top, then drizzle with the dressing.

Top with shards of sheep’s cheese and eat straight away.