Video recipe: No complaint about this grouse

Our celebration of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink with Fife’s top chefs draws to a close this week with a recipe from Davey Aspin, executive chef at St Andrews’ Rocca restaurant.

Davey used local produce to create his Perthshire grouse – the bird itself, foraged mushrooms, homemade choucroute, brambles and creamy potatoes with an extra touch of luxury from truffle.

Rocca executive chef Davey Aspin

Rocca executive chef Davey Aspin

It’s a delicious dish to herald autumn, using autumnal ingredients to create a dish filled with flavour, accompanied by a light and foamy bread sauce, a delicious sauce full of the flavours of the dish.

Nothing is wasted, with a little roll of pastry filled with a parfait based on the grouse.

He’s a firm believer in using seasonal produce – grouse, with its short season from the glorious 12th of August until the end of November, is a firm favourite for Davey.

And as our season of seasonal recipes closes, so the St Andrews Food Festival opens – it launches on Sunday (November 1) with more than 50 foodie events planned for the month ahead.

The six chefs we’ve featured – along with Davey, Martin Hollis from the Old Course Hotel, Ian MacDonald of the Links Trust, the Fairmont’s Alan Matthew, Stewart Macaulay The Adamson, Geoff Smeddle at the Peat Inn – will provide the highlight of the festival with a gala dinner featuring the best of local Scottish produce.

The Fairmont will be hosting the event, and Alan Matthew said: “We are very proud to be hosting this year’s dinner. It is our way of saying thank you to our local suppliers and treating our festival guests to a fabulous dining experience with a delicious Scotch lamb main course.”

Restaurants across the area will be hosting special events, from afternoon tea to meet the producer, tastings of everything from chocolate to ice cream via coffee, with a tea dance and ceilidhs thrown in for extra entertainment.

First up though is a unique Festival Food Market at which our six chefs will be joined by other local stars to host market stalls where visitors will be able to enjoy tasters of seasonal ingredients. There will also be stalls with a range of offerings for adults and children.

More information on all the food festival events is available at standrews4you


INGREDIENTS – serves 4

4 x young long legged Scottish Grouse covered with bacon and trussed

200 g brambles

200g Wild Mushrooms



4 x maris piper potatoes

1 x black truffle or good quality truffle oil

50g butter

200g cream

Salt & pepper


1/2 onion, cut in half again

1 clove

10g of unsalted butter

225ml of milk

25g of white bread, crusts removed, cut into cubes

25ml of double cream

1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


First the bread sauce, press the clove into one of the onion pieces to stud , Heat pan on a medium heat and melt the butter, finely chop the other piece of onion and add it to the pan. Sweat the onion until soft .

Add the milk to the pan along with the piece of clove-studded onion. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Stir through the cubes of bread, reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes .

Discard the piece of clove-studded onion and add the cream to the pan, stirring well until thoroughly combined. Bring the sauce back up to the boil and season to taste with salt, pepper and a small pinch of nutmeg check seasoning & keep to one side.

Next the truffle potato mash . Bake the potatoes in a 200 degree oven for approx. 90 minutes until soft. Allow to cool and spoon the potato out of the skins then use a potato ricer to mash. Add hot cream and butter , beat together and season with the truffle to taste.

Place a non stick frying pan over a medium heat, add grapeseed oil. Season the grouse with salt & pepper, place in pan. Colour the grouse on all sides, turn the grouse so they sit in the pan with breast facing upwards, add butter & sprig of thyme then bake in a preheated oven at 180, roast for 8 minutes basting twice during cooking time.

Heat up the bread sauce. Slice the mushrooms and fry in butter and truffle oil for a few minutes.

On preheated plates, place the truffle potato on one side, carve the grouse breast from the crown & season. Place some of the warmed berries on top, the mushrooms on the side and bread sauce on the plate.