It’s such a shame to scrape grouse bones into the bin when there is still so much flavour left – a couple of grouse carcasses will make plenty of soup for four people.
For the stock:
carcasses of 2 grouse, chopped into 4 or 5 pieces
1 small onion, peeled, halved and roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
a couple of sprigs of thyme
4 juniper berries
1 tbsp vegetable oil
a good knob of butter
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp tomato purée
2l chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sticks of celery, peeled if necessary and cut into rough 1cm squares
1 small leek, trimmed, cut into rough 1cm squares and washed
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into rough 1cm squares
a couple of leaves of green cabbage, cut into rough 1cm squares
Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the grouse carcasses, onion, carrot, garlic and herbs on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring every so often until lightly coloured. Add the tomato purée and chicken stock, bring to the boil, season and simmer gently for an hour.
Strain the soup through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean saucepan, reserving the bits of carcass. Add the celery, leek and carrot and simmer for about 15 minutes or until they are tender, then add the cabbage and simmer for another 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, remove as many bits of meat from the grouse carcass as possible and add to the soup and simmer for a few minutes, re-season if necessary and serve.