WHILE gathering material for my new book, I have been trawling the Farr archives.
After contributing to quite a number of publications over the last 16 years, I have accumulated a huge mixture of cuttings, copies, floppy disks, and computer documents, none of which is any kind of order!
A system, oh for a system, why did I not listen when told this would happen! So now, what could have been a three-month project, will now take six months.
Whilst not wanting to repeat any recipes, I want to make sure that favourite dishes from Friends are included, along with culinary tales, and not miss any new classics, like my Haggis cake recipe.
Part of my research, therefore, has meant re-reading through my previous books.
However, my favourite dishes will be part of the new collection, which will include one of my all time treats, Roast Grouse.
Although the season is from August 12 until December 10, they are best eaten from the start until about half way through October.
The grouse does have the strongest flavour of all our game birds, and does mature very quickly, hence, past October, the older birds become more suitable to braising or stewing.
Here is a recipe for two (when you consider the price of grouse, you may not want to invite guests!).
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 young grouse
2 rashers of streaky bacon
25g unsalted butter
25g each of chopped onion, celery and carrot
50ml red wine
150ml chicken stock
Few sprigs of watercress
Bread sauce as required (many people add more than I would!)
Game chips, or crisps to garnish
Method 1) Truss the grouse, wrapping the bacon around the breast.
2) Season the bird inside and out with a little salt and pepper.
3) Brush the grouse with the butter, and place on one leg, in a hot oven - 250C/Gas mark 8 - for five minutes.
4) Turn them onto the other leg and roast for another five minutes.
5) Turn them onto their backs and roast for another five minutes.
6) Remove from the pan and allow the bird to rest for 10 minutes.
7) Remove the legs and breasts and keep warm.
8) Add the chopped vegetables to the pan and colour lightly, leaving in the roasting juices.
9) Roughly chop the carcasses and add to the pan.
10) Add the wine and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
11) Strain the stock and reduce by half and keep it warm.
12) Return the grouse to the oven to reheat them, and then arrange the legs and breasts on the plates.
13) Garnish with the game chips and watercress, pour the gravy over the top and serve the bread sauce separately.
Trust me, this is one of the most unique aromas of the kitchen!