AHH . . . the Glorious 12th. Those of you from a countrified background will know what I'm talking about, while the townies might be a bit puzzled. For the uninitiated, the 12th of August - or the Glorious 12th as it's known amongst those "in the ken" - heralds the start of the grouse season.
And of course, The Scotsman is always ready to provide recipes to grouse about.
Breast of pheasant stuffed with apricot and cashews, black olive mash, red onion gravy, roast cherry tomatoes
Large pheasant supremes
200g (7oz) stoned apricots
100g (3.5oz) cashews
4 large potatoes, mashed
100g (3.5oz) black olives, chopped
25g (1oz) butter
16 cherry tomatoes
2 red onions, sliced
200ml red wine
200ml chicken or game stock
1 tsp caster sugar
Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Blend the apricots and cashews together using a food processor. Season and add breadcrumbs until quite firm. Make an incision in the side of each pheasant supreme, press the stuffing into the cavity, then fold the flesh back over. Season the supremes before pan-frying them on each side in a little olive oil, then place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Oil the tomatoes and roast them at the same temperature for 15 minutes. Make the sauce. Sauté the onions in a pan with a little olive oil then add the red wine and boil until it has reduced by half. Add the stock and reduce by half again. Season and add the sugar if necessary.
Make the mash. Add the olives and butter to the potato, then add seasoning and heat in the oven for 15 minutes. Slice the pheasant, place it on the mash, surround with the sauce and the tomatoes.
Pan-fried breast of grouse, apple cabbage and black pudding, port reduction
8 young grouse
400g (13oz) black pudding, cut into 4 discs
1 red cabbage, sliced
Half a medium-sized onion, sliced
1 apple, cored and finely chopped
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
50g (2oz) butter
4 shallots, chopped
200ml game stock (using grouse carcasses)
Remove the breasts from the grouse, leaving the skin on. Boil the carcasses with seasoning to make the game stock.
Melt half the butter with a little olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion and cabbage. Add the vinegar and sugar and continue to sauté until cabbage is quite soft. Add the chopped apple and season.
Place the black pudding discs on a greased baking tray and bake in the oven at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 15 minutes. Make the sauce. Sauté the shallots with a little olive oil then add the port and reduce by half. Add the game stock and reduce by half again. Stir in the remaining butter and season. Season the grouse breasts then fry them in a hot pan, skin side first, for two minutes on each side, then take the pan off the heat and allow to rest for five minutes. Slice the partridge and serve it on layered black pudding and cabbage. Surround with sauce.