August 12th - The Glorious Twelfth - is the start of the grouse shooting season in Britain. It also signals the beginning of the end of summer and indicates that pretty soon it'll be woollies and stews for 6 months. Tasty, lean and dark, the meat almost tastes like liver. It's a bit disconcerting to have something in front of you that looks like a chicken (albeit a small one) but tastes like red meat.
I took a really traditional approach to this one - skinned them (they weren't cleanly plucked), wrapped them in streaky bacon, tucked a sprig of rosemary in the cavity and roasted them at 180C for half an hour. I served them with the leftover carrot puree from the Oeufs à la Crécy, skirlie (medium oatmeal fried with onion and bacon fat - brought half way to the twentieth century with a good handful of chopped parsley) and a sauce of redcurrants, beef stock, red wine and some wine jelly. The red currants provided just the right sour counterpoint to all the rich meaty flavours.