Use your first brace of the season for an innovative and unexpected game supper, says Philippa Davis. This grouse ravioli with grouse broth is certainly worth the effort
It might seem like a laborious task to make your own pasta, but the first brace of grouse is certainly deserving of the attention. Try something different with Philippa Davis’ grouse ravioli with grouse broth. It is guaranteed to impress.
There’s no doubt that the young birds are best cooked the traditional way. Follow our traditional roast grouse recipe, always a favourite choice for the first brace of the season.
GROUSE RAVIOLI WITH GROUSE BROTH
The intensity of grouse meat makes it perfect as a ravioli filling. I remove the legs and cook them separately as I want to use the meat but if you simmer them for too long the stock becomes bitter.
- 360g pasta flour, plus a little extra
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 3 whole large eggs, plus 1 yolk
- 2 x grouse, legs separated, breasts kept on the carcass
- 3 pints water
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- A few fennel tops
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 1 tsp whisky
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ white onion, peeled and finely chopped
- ½ fennel, washed and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- Cooked meat from 2 grouse
- 50g grated Parmesan
- 2 tbsp double cream
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp finely shredded parsley
For the pasta dough, place the flour and salt in a food processor, blitz. Add eggs plus yolk and blitz to form a ball (add a few drops of water if necessary). Mould into a flat disk, wrap in cling film and rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
For the grouse stock, lightly rinse the grouse carcasses (with the breast on), pat dry and put in a saucepan. Add the water and rest of the stock ingredients, except the whisky. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour or until the breast meat is tender.
Cook legs in a smaller pan with water and a few additional flavourings (such as peppercorns, fennel seeds, parsley stalks); simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is tender then keep legs and discard liquid. Strain the breast cooking liquid into a pan, add 1 tsp whisky and reduce to 1 pint; season with salt and pepper.
To assemble the ravioli, in a small pan gently sauté the onion, fennel and garlic for 10 minutes, or until soft, in the butter and oil, then place into a food processor. Shred the meat from the grouse, roughly chop then add to the processor with the Parmesan and cream. Season then give a few blitzes – you want a semi-smooth pâté texture – then stir in the parsley.
Take one-third of the dough and keep the rest wrapped in the fridge. Lightly dust your surface with pasta flour. Roll the dough through the pasta machine on the widest setting. Fold in each end (like a business letter), turn the dough 90 degrees then roll back through the machine. Repeat this five times until about 14cm in width.
Roll the pasta through the machine, reducing the setting by 1 notch each time (no longer folding) until you are down to the thinnest setting. Lightly brush the sheet with water, place small teaspoons of the grouse mix about 6cm apart down one side, fold over the pasta and seal each ravioli trying not to trap in air bubbles. Cut into squares and store on a lightly floured tray. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Heat the grouse stock, cook the ravioli in a large pan of salted water for 3 minutes and drain. Share between six serving bowls and divide the broth; finish with a sprinkle of parsley.