Grouse on Toast with Girolles

Serves 4.

If you are grouse lovers, this little starter is a good way to make the deliciously rich meat go that bit further. You can, of course, use wild ducks like teal, wigeon, snipe, partridge or pheasant. The girolles are one of the first late summer and autumn mushrooms and make this starter or snack a real little luxurious treat.


  • 2 oven-ready grouse, preferably with their livers, or if not buy 120g chicken or duck liver.
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped.
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed.
  • A couple of good knobs of butter.
  • 2 tbsp sherry.
  • A handful of dandelion leaves or small salad leaves, prepared and washed.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 4 slices of white or brown bread cut 1cm thick from a small bloomer-style loaf.
  • 120-150g girolle mushrooms.

For the dressing: 1 tbsp cider vinegar mixed with 3 tbsp rapeseed oil.


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7.
  2. Clean the livers, cut them into even-sized pieces and dry them on some kitchen paper.
  3. Heat a good knob of butter in a frying pan and briefly fry the shallots and garlic for a minute or so without colouring.
  4. Season the livers and add to the pan and continue to fry on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring every so often.
  5. Stir in the sherry, then remove from the heat.
  6. Rub the breast of grouse with the remaining butter, season and cook them for 10-15 minutes, keeping them nice and pink.
  7. Meanwhile, chop the liver mixture by hand or in a food processor as finely or as coarsely as you wish, tasting and seasoning again if necessary.
  8. Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan and gently cook the girolles, seasoning them and turning them with a spoon during cooking.
  9. Toast the bread on both sides, then spread with the liver mixture.
  10. Remove the breasts from the grouse, slice and arrange on top of the liver mixture.
  11. Shred any leg meat from the birds and mix with the salad leaves and dressing.
  12. Season and arrange on plates.
  13. Place the toast in the centre of each plate and scatter the mushrooms over.