"It's not much but it's ours"

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Things may get a whole lot worse
Before suddenly falling apart

I used to loathe Sundays - couldn't get a drink after two, everything was closed and Sweet FA on the box. Then I started liking it a lot more. I liked and still do like the routine: gym, stroll, coffee and a pastry. Home to some good music, a chilled manzanilla and some marcona almonds. And the Sunday papers are always worth a chuckle for how little there is in them. To top it all off there is the Sunday lunch which usually involves a large piece of protein.

Dos Hermanos certainly needed a classic Sunday today. Saturday was a washout. Shit weather, another dire England performance and several pints of what the pubs concerned laughingly described as beer. Ice cold, expensive, tinted liquid would be apposite. Lucky then that I had something a little different planned for lunch.

Game is one of those foods that people don't seem to eat very often. Maybe it's the closeness of the meat to its origins that make people a bit squeamish. Maybe it's the thought of having something that's very gamey in taste. Maybe it's the maggots. Whatever the reason, it's available now in a good butcher or supermarket near you.

Oddly, Borough Market didn't have any game save for some wild rabbit (well it didn't look very happy) when I visited on Saturday morning but a quick trip up to the West End saw me walking out of Selfridges with a Brace of Grouse.

Preparation was very straightforward. The beasts were eviscerated, which entailed getting my hand well in there and pulling everything out. I dried them up a bit and seasoned them well and rubbed in lots and lots of butter inside and out. The birdies then went into a hot oven for 20-25 minutes and given the occasional basting with all the buttery juices.

Once done I allowed the Grouse to rest. The offal went into the pan to cook through and was then mashed and spread on some fried bread. Some breadcrumbs were thrown into the hot pan until golden brown then a little sherry poured in (an idea from Simon Hopkinson). The sherry was cooked out leaving lovely crisp crumbs with a deep taste..

There were other accompaniments in the traditional vein as well: some clovey, nutmeggy bread sauce, game chips (actually a decent quality commercial brand warmed through in the oven), crisp rashers of bacon and watercress. Some celeriac purée was good but probably unnecessary. A bottle of claret worked exceptionally well with the rich gamey meat.

Pud was some peaches I'd baked in Marsala with cinnamon and a vanilla pod and left overnight. I just served it with a blob of marscapone whipped up with some fromage frais, sugar and some more vanilla. It was surprisingly light, not too sweet and was a lot more enjoyable than a lot of restaurant desserts (even though I do say so myself).

So, despite the best efforts of the gods to ruin it, the weekend ended on a pretty high note. Next week I believe my estimable brother has something special in mind. Over to you HS.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Robin:

Could you manage a visit to Santa Cruz, without the gamey bits or the true ale and cheese? We would so welcome you here, if Simon thinks (he knows) you could handle it.

We are only us, but you are you, and we would welcome you.

Love from the (slightly) warmer climes,

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 8:52:00 am  
Blogger Hermano 1 said...

Hi Tana,

(Boring) work commitments permitting I would love to visit Surf City.

Hang Loose


Wednesday, September 10, 2008 10:12:00 pm  
Blogger Jess said...

Wow! what a meal, I was left drooling over this one. Great photos too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:45:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 1 said...

We ejoyed it too :^)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 10:21:00 pm  

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