Making History: Grouse with a Foie Gras and Madeira Sauce & Blackberry Compote Recipe

Blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered is dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. She’s also a big fan of game meats and creates elaborate dishes with game birds, which she always insists are easier than they look. With wild Scottish game birds finally in season, it’s a fitting time to share some of her best game bird recipes.

This one for grouse shares a wonderful tip from cookbook author and teacher Madeline Kamman, who shared her grandmother’s trick for moistening guinea hen: bits of frozen oil inserted under the skin. Applied to lean grouse, this did the trick. Read her original post for some wonderful photos and a discussion about grousing, er, grouse hunting in the United Kingdom.

Grouse with a Foie Gras and Madeira Sauce & Blackberry Compote for 2

Scottish grouse ( try this recipe with Cornish hen or pheasant)


  • 2 Scottish grouse from D’Artagnan
  • Brine (see below)
  • 1 Tbsp hazelnut oil
  • 1 anchovy, mashed
  • 1 tsp grated shallot
  • ½ tsp  fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp foie gras
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 3 tsp heather honey
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Madeira Sauce (see below)
  • Blackberry compote

Brine for the grouse from Honest Food

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon crushed juniper berries
  • 1 rosemary sprig

Boil and cool and brine the birds for 12 hours. Enough for 2 small birds

Madeira Sauce (this can be enough for 2 but it is so good you may want to double it)

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • sprig of thyme
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1/3 c demi-glace (duck or chicken)
  • 1 Tbsp foie gras (D’Artagnan brilliantly sells frozen pieces that can be broken off and used for sooo many things!)
  • 2 tsp Boston Bual Madeira (I used that 1850 Verdelho)

Add 2 Tbsp butter to the skillet in which the grouse cooked and add the shallots and thyme. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add duck demi-glace. Add the foie gras one teaspoon at a time, whisking each addition thoroughly into the demi-glace to achieve a silky smooth consistency, strain. Add 2 Tbsp Madeira just before serving.

Plate the grouse, nap with pan sauce and blackberries.

Blackberry compote based on Hotel Cipriani recipe

  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 3-4 Tbsp heather honey
  • 6 juniper berries, crushed
  • 1-inch piece cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • Zest of ½ a lime

Combine and cook until berries are soft. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Take 1 Tbsp hazelnut oil and grated shallot, anchovy, thyme, pepper and 1 Tbsp foie gras and 1 tsp heather honey and blend. Put in the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm.

Remove the grouse from the brine and pat dry. Let stand 15 minutes while heating the oven to 400º as you insert the semi-solid oil under the breast and leg (the leg is tough to do—they are little birds) of the grouse. Put the remainder in the cavity with 2 tsp of heather honey. Add salt and pepper over all.

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the grouse and fry for 3-4 minutes, turning regularly, until the birds are browned on all sides. If you lose any of the oil from the bird as you do this… spoon it back in before you put it into the oven.

Arrange each grouse so that it is resting on one breast.

Transfer to the oven for 3-4 minutes, then turn the birds onto their other breast and roast for a further 3 minutes. Turn the grouse onto their backs and roast for 4 more minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the grouse from the pan, place on a warm plate and cover loosely with foil. Set aside to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.

Serve with the Madeira sauce poured over the bird and the compote separately or on the plate.

Serve this alongside.

Tom Kitchin Celeriac Puree From Great British Menu

  • 1 celeriac, peeled, finely chopped
  • milk, double cream to cover celeriac
  • 2 tsp fresh horseradish

Place the celeriac into a small pan, cover with equal amounts of milk and cream and cook until soft. Once soft, drain, discarding the milk and cream. Purée using a hand-blender until smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Add horseradish.

Also great with this is steamed sugar snaps and baked beets tossed with 1 Tbsp verjus or sherry vinegar and 1 Tbsp hazelnut oil

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