Sunday, 1 September 2013
Nothing to grouse about!
We returned to London from our six week stay in the Scottish highlands on Friday bearing with us a brace of grouse – the UK grouse shooting season always opens on 12th August. The grouse were brought from George Gow, the excellent butcher in Kingussie for £5.30 each, which strikes me as very reasonable. He assured us that they had been shot locally, which I can well believe because cycling up in the hills around Newtonmore and Kingussie a few days before the 12th it was evident that there were lots of grouse around. Flocks would rise up from the heather as I passed.
Plainly roasted on Friday the two little plump birds were delicious – the best grouse we have ever had, we decided, especially accompanied by a slice of George's Stornoway-recipe black pudding. A memorable bottle of 1979 Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Château de Beaucastel was a perfect match with its soft, cinnamon and spice and heady perfume. Only problem is that Kingussie is a long way to go to get some more grouse!
1979 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château de Beaucastel
The hills are alive with grouse or they were before 12th August