Pine-scented grouse with cobnuts, haggis, neeps 'n' tatties

Not yet rated

The ‘Glorious 12th’ marks the start of grouse season each year, and this deliciously rich game bird is the perfect match for strong Scottish flavours, as Paul Welburn uses in this recipe. Douglas fir adds a hint of pine, while the traditional haggis, neeps ‘n’ tatties are updated in a crisp, fried croquette. Serve with a wee dram of whisky for the ultimate experience!

First published in 2015





Puffed spelt

  • 150g of spelt
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Pickled turnip

  • 1 turnip, peeled
  • 100ml of white wine
  • 100ml of white wine vinegar
  • 50ml of water
  • 50g of sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 handful of sprig of thyme


Haggis, neeps ‘n’ tatties croquette

Swede purée

To serve


  • Sous vide or water bath
  • Deep-fryer
  • Mandoline


Preheat the oven to 60°C
Start with the puffed spelt, as this needs to dry out for several hours. Place the spelt in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to generously cover. Bring to the boil and cook until very tender, almost overcooked (for about 45 minutes). Drain the spelt, spread out on a baking tray and allow to dry out for 5–6 hours in the cool oven
  • 150g of spelt
For the pickled turnip, use a mandoline to slice the turnip into 2mm thick slices, season with the salt and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse off the salt thoroughly under cold running water, then bring the remaining ingredients to the boil in a small saucepan. Pour over the turnip slices, allow to steep, then chill for 3 hours or more
  • 1 turnip, peeled
  • 100ml of white wine
  • 100ml of white wine vinegar
  • 50ml of water
  • 50g of sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 handful of sprig of thyme
To prepare the grouse, use a small sharp knife to remove the wings at the joint closest to the breast. Pull the leg away from the breast and make a cut between the leg and breast, through the thigh joint and skin to remove the entire leg. You can also ask a butcher to do this for you
Preheat a water bath to 64°C
Place the grouse crowns in sous vide bags, each with half of the oil, a few sprigs of fir and 1 crushed juniper berry. Seal the bags and cook in the water bath for 15 minutes
Remove from the bath and bag and remove the wishbone by running the knife alongside each side of the bone at the front of the breast. Pinch the top of the wishbone and gently twist to remove. Cut down each side of the breast bone and along the rib cage to remove each breast from the crown. Repeat with the other grouse, reserving both the breasts and bones
For the sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a pan, add the grouse legs and brown all over to seal. Remove and set aside
  • 50ml of vegetable oil
Add the reserved grouse bones to the pan and allow to caramelise. Once golden, add the butter, continue to caramelise until well-coloured then remove the bones
Add the shallots, herbs and spices to the pan and slowly caramelise as well. Deglaze the pan with the whisky then add the stock. Return the bones to the pan and bring to a simmer
Add the browned grouse legs and slowly braise in the stock for approximately 1 hour, or until tender and coming away from the bone
When the legs are tender, allow to cool in the stock then remove and pick the meat from the bones (this meat will used to make the croquettes). Pass the sauce through a fine sieve and reduce until thickened to a sauce consistency. Season to taste
Measure out 100ml of the sauce for the croquettes and reduce this further until you end up with 25ml. Reserve the rest of the sauce with a few fir sprigs added to infuse
  • 1 handful of Douglas fir pine
For the haggis, neeps ‘n’ tatties croquettes, add the oil to a pan and sweat down the diced carrot and swede for 8–10 minutes. In a separate hot pan, caramelise the haggis in a little more oil until golden in colour
  • 50ml of vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 swede, finely diced
  • 150g of haggis
Remove the haggis from the pan and combine in a bowl with the vegetables, mashed potato, parsley, reduced 25ml of sauce and the picked meat from the grouse legs (you should have about 50g). Mix well and adjust the seasoning to taste
Allow the mixture to cool, then roll into small balls (roughly 35g each) and place on a baking tray or plate to firm up in the fridge
For the swede purée, add the butter to a pan with the diced swede and sweat down until softened without browning. Once soft, blend to a smooth purée with the spices and season to taste. For a super smooth purée, pass through a fine chinois or drum sieve. You can optionally replace 20% of the original quantity of swede with carrot to add a touch more sweetness and vibrancy to the final colour
To cook the grouse for serving, heat a frying pan with a knob of butter until foaming, then add a few more sprigs of the fir and the grouse breasts, skin-side down. Roast in the pan for 4–5 minutes or until the skin is golden, using a spoon to baste the breasts evenly with the flavoured butter
Remove from the heat and allow to rest for a few minutes before carving
Meanwhile, for the puffed spelt, deep-fry in vegetable oil at 190°C until puffed and golden. Drain the excess oil on kitchen towel and season
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Remove the firm croquettes from the fridge and roll first in the flour, then dip in the egg and finally in the rolled oats to coat. Deep-fry until crisp and golden. Drain any excess oil on kitchen towel and season
  • plain flour
  • egg, beaten
  • pinhead oatmeal
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Remove the cobnuts from the shell and lightly toast in a hot dry pan, being careful not to burn them
Gently sweat the rainbow chard in a knob of butter and season
To serve, spread some of the swede purée across each plate. Carve the grouse breasts into long slices and place atop the purée. Sprinkle with some puffed spelt and toasted cobnuts, then top each plate with a haggis croquette, a few slices of the pickled turnip and a little of the buttery rainbow chard
Serve with the fir-infused sauce on the side, and perhaps a dram of the Auchentoshan ‘3 wood’ whisky
First published in 2015

Paul Welburn has years of Michelin-star cooking behind him, holding a star for five years at restaurant W1.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.

You may also like

Load more