Impress someone special with this stylish autumnal game dish for two that can also be made with pheasant.
large knob of butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
12 rashers rindless streaky bacon, 4 diced, 8 left whole for wrapping
6 chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
2 skinless grouse breasts, finely minced
100ml/4fl oz red wine
4 juniper berries, coarsely crushed
2 tbsp green tomato chutney, from a jar
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped needles only
½ chicken stock cube
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
For the grouse dumplings, melt the butter with one tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat then add the shallots and fry gently for five minutes until softened and translucent, but not browned.
Increase the heat to medium-high, add the diced bacon, mushrooms and grouse and fry for 3-4 minutes until the bacon and mushrooms are golden-brown in places. Stir in the red wine, juniper berries, chutney and rosemary and boil for 2-3 minutes until the red wine has reduced to about one tablespoon.
Crumble in the stock cube, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and scatter over the breadcrumbs. Stir everything together to form a stuffing-like mixture then remove from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes.
Overlap two rashers of bacon on a board then shape a quarter of the grouse mixture into a rough ball and place at one end of the bacon. Roll up into a dumpling shape, so that it's wrapped in the bacon. Repeat with the remaining bacon and grouse mixture.
Heat the remaining oil in an ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat and sear the dumplings for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden-brown. Transfer to the oven for 10 minutes or until heated through and the bacon is crisp.
For the rösti, wrap the grated potatoes in a clean tea towel and squeeze firmly to remove as much excess moisture from the potatoes as possible. Tip into a large bowl, mix in the rosemary and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add spoonfuls of potato to the pan, pressing down with a spatula to form flat cakes. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden-brown then transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining potato then transfer to the oven for 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through.
For the carrot and parsnip purée, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the carrots and parsnips and boil for 15-20 minutes until softened. Drain and return to the pan with the butter. Blend to a smooth purée using a stick blender, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and keep warm.
For the parsnip crisps, half-fill a deep, heavy-based pan with the vegetable oil and heat until a cube of bread dropped in sizzles and turns golden-brown in 30 seconds (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended). Fry the parsnip slices in small batches, for 1-2 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and gently fry the shallots for five minutes until softened and translucent but not browned. Stir in the jelly until dissolved then pour in the balsamic vinegar and boil for 1-2 minutes until reduced slightly.
Pour in the red wine, add the rosemary, boil for three minutes then pour in the stock and boil for 15 minutes or until reduced to the consistency of double cream. Discard the sprig of rosemary and keep the sauce warm.
To serve, arrange the grouse dumplings on top of the rösti and spoon over the sauce. Places spoonfuls of the purée alongside and garnish with the parsnip crisps.
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