Food Grouse 2022

Well, in Northern England generally speaking, there is an abundance of birds on some moors, and very few on others. The reasons primarily appear to flow from the self-restraint of this season's successful moors, which stopped shooting in one or both of the weird 2020 and 2021 seasons, when heather beetle widely devastated some estates. But some of the best moors on the West Pennines and in County Durham are still suffering terribly from the beetle, and will shoot very few days or none at all this season. At the other end of the spectrum, parts of the North York Moors, Northumberland, and the East Pennines, are perhaps the brightest spots. Overall, there won't be a shortage this year, and the more fortunate estates will be sending plump young grouse to the game dealers well into November.

Culinarily, IMHO it is hard to beat a spatchcocked young bird cooked on the barbecue. Although we country bumpkins perhaps lack the skills of those fine London chefs. But that is not to decry the delightful dishes which they create from our most loved and exciting bird. Nothing matches the thrill of trying to shoot a mature grouse sliding wildly on the wing in a gale in October or November.
 
Finally managed to get my grouse fix - somewhat unexpectedly at The Ritz as part of their 5 course "Epicurean Journey". Cooked to perfection, as one might expect. Best grouse I've ever had.

Introduced to us in a heather-lined silver pot and then served with fairly minimalist fruity bits, candied walnuts, mini girolles, sphere of foie gras paté that emulated a cherry, celeriac purée and blobbed waffles. Divine! Even Lauren liked it! These came from Yorkshire, just like Lauren...

We asked for wines by the glass and they selected 2016 Brunello di Montalcino, Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona and 2018 Domaine David Duband Bourgogne Rouge. Neither were from the top drawer, but the food was the star of the show and they proved to be a decent backing act.

Surely only a matter of time before they get a 2nd Michelin star?

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[Apologies that I forgot to take the pic before getting started!]
 
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But that is not to decry the delightful dishes which they create from our most loved and exciting bird

From the enterprising Chapter One in Locksbottom, SE London, here is “risotto of curried Yorkshire grouse, caper-raisin purée, puffed wild rice”, a comforting bowlful which reminded me (in a good way) of an army biryani. A suave 2008 Taurasi (didn’t note the producer) was a good match for it and the venison pasty with smoked celeriac that followed

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I do love an annual grouse, but in recent years (like last year), some restaurants (and presumably consumers) have taken a view that stocks haven't been strong enough to responsibly source grouse on a responsible/sustainable basis. Personally, i'm more than happy to be led by those in the know. Anybody have a sense how things are, numbers-wise, this year?
 
I do love an annual grouse, but in recent years (like last year), some restaurants (and presumably consumers) have taken a view that stocks haven't been strong enough to responsibly source grouse on a responsible/sustainable basis. Personally, i'm more than happy to be led by those in the know. Anybody have a sense how things are, numbers-wise, this year?
I presume you've read the messages at the beginning of this thread?
 
I presume you've read the messages at the beginning of this thread?
Yes apologies if it seemed i hadn't; perhaps i should have rephrased. I read and enjoyed the entire thread, including the grey partridge debate (have lots of fond memories of eating grey/english partridge, but then i was lucky enough to grow up on a farm where they were plentiful) and the commentary about the tastelessness of early-seaon pheasants! I saw and appreciated the early season comments from Simon Grant, David MacDowall, and the later one from Mark Crann, all of which seemed more hopeful, was just wondering if anybody had anything futher at this stage, or possibly a perspective at a national level (or some perspective from the hospitality industry!). The action by the Ritz seemed interesting, although somewhat oddly timed if they've done away with it this year, when things are perhaps somewhat better. It would for sure be interesting to see a sustainability sourcing standard agreed by restaurants & butchers?
 
I’ve had a dozen delivered for £7 a bird which seemed reasonable for young grouse. I had to laugh when I saw a brace going for £48 at Fornums! Crazy prices.
You did do well, Gareth. We get £8 a brace for birds in the feather!

But your price confirms that there will be no shortage this year. I have been hearing of 400 brace days on the NY Moors, and some of the east Pennine Moors are doing nearly as well as that.
 
Well a google search seems fruitless so perhaps WP has completely broken the website. It has led me down a rabbit hole of mouthwatering other things from other retails though.
 
Absolutely right. Their SEO is hopeless. It's apples or the Braemar games so google obviously knows a) what I eat and b) I'm an illiterate idiot.
 
Thoroughly enjoyed dinner at cinnamon club this evening. The tandoori breast of Scottish young grouse, leg mince roomali parcel, stir-fry of charred corn and pepper, creamy black lentils was particularly good with a femarkably open and supple 2017 faiveley mercurey la framboisiere.
 
Late start to the season for me on 1 September but now up to 10, and still counting! Some at the club with all the trimmings, but others at home with my own version of bread sauce which is a bit like a savoury bread and butter pudding souffle!!! Likely to have with parents after the funeral on Monday.
 
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