Grouse in pancetta with coco beans


2 Grouse

75g Butter

1 Shallot, peeled and chopped

1 Chicken Stock Cube

2 Bay Leaves

Sprig of Thyme

250ml Red Wine

100g Pancetta, finely sliced

500g Fresh Coco or Barlotti Beans (250g if using dried barlotti beans)

2 Cloves Garlic

1 Chilli

1tbs Chopped Parsley




Cut down between the legs and the breasts of the grouse, pull the legs down and away from the body and cut them off.  Lift the flap of skin covering the neck and cut out the wishbone, scraping the meat away from the bone before you do so.  Make an incision down the middle of the breast, down one side of the breast bone, keeping as close to the bone as possible.  Continue until you are able to completely detach the breasts from the carcase.

Remove any blood clots and unpleasantness sitting on the carcase, and chop it roughly.  Melt a third of the butter in a saucepan and add the carcase pieces, stirring them occasionally until they are an even golden brown.  Add the peeled and chopped shallot and colour that in turn before adding the stock cube, red wine and one bay leaf.  Add enough water to cover and simmer for just half an hour before straining into a bowl.

Take the grouse breasts and remove their skin.  Sandwich two together, making sure the inside sides, with the little fillet attached, remain on the inside and the outside, with the pointed ends together like the keel of a boat.  Starting at one end, wrap this double breast in the pancetta, overlapping one piece with another until the breast is completely covered.  Place these pieces in the fridge a moment to firm a little.

Pod the beans and rinse them before covering in cold water with the garlic, thyme, chilli and the second bay leaf.  Bring to a simmer and cook until tender (30-40 minutes).  Discard the herbs, chilli and garlic – although this can be mashed and returned to the beans if desired.  Once cooked, the beans should be seasoned with salt and allowed to cool in their liquor

Heat another third of the butter in a heavy pan and add the grouse legs and the breasts.  Let them colour and then turn down the heat.  Cook them gently for four minutes a side, and then remove all the pieces and keep them in a warming oven.  Pour the stock into the pan in which you have cooked the grouse and bring to a gentle boil.  Drain the beans and put them in a small saucepan with stock to cover and the chopped parsely.  Check the seasoning.  Reduce the stock until it gains a sauce-like consistency, season and whisk in the last of the butter to thicken.  Serve the grouse on top of the beans and coat with the sauce