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Boundary
Boundary Restaurant September Menu

On Wednesday, 1 September Boundary Restaurant will introduce the first of its monthly changing autumnal menus. Whilst we love to feature great seasonal treats such as English asparagus in May, rhubarb in January, spring lamb and wild berries in the summer, it is the first game-season menu that is truly our favourite. The Glorious Twelfth of August officially marks the beginning of the grouse season. We like to wait a little, however, before adding the birds to our menu. In September the menu will also feature the first ceps and the return of native oysters (available only when there is an R in the month), plus roast figs from Provence and blackberries from Kent, which we will be using to infuse our monthly-changing pudding soufflé.

Throughout autumn the restaurant menus will also include a full range of game: partridge, woodcock, snipe, teal, mallard, widgeon, hare and venison.

Henrik Ritzen

Peter Prescott

  Boundary Restaurant
Grouse
Grouse in flight  

All of the red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) that arrive in our kitchens are sourced from Yorkshire Game Limited. Ben Weatherall and his team select the best birds from the North Yorkshire Moors, the North Pennines near Teesdale and the Scottish Borders.

Ben also supplies our restaurants with all of our other game requirements, from English roe and fallow deer to hares, wild ducks (teal, widgeon and mallard) and the occasional snipe or woodcock. We know and trust that the Yorkshire Game team will supply us only with the very best ingredients from estates that are managed in a sustainable manner and where the gamekeepers and stalkers are fully trained in the importance of hygienic handling standards. We also have the confidence of full traceability.

Background information

Red grouse is a totally wild bird that is found only in Great Britain and Ireland, where it lives on a natural diet without the aid of feed additives or growth promoters. There are very few birds remaining in Ireland, and their plumage is slightly different. Other countries and some areas of England, such as Suffolk, have attempted to introduce the bird without success. There are willow grouse and ptarmigan in Scandinavia.

The main areas where good populations can be found are in well-kept areas of moorland in the North Yorkshire Moors, the North Pennines, the Scottish Borders and further north in the Angus Glens.

The shooting season starts on the Glorious Twelfth of August; however, most estates do not start shooting until the following week.

Grouse are subject to considerable yearly price fluctuations because they are a wild bird. Anybody serving grouse shortly after 12 August will have paid a significant premium, and sometimes these birds have an inferior taste.

The 2010 season looks like a bumper year. Thanks to snow from Christmas Eve through to the end of January, only the strong birds survived. The good weather in spring and summer has also helped the population.

Grouse population is mainly influenced by weather, predation (avian, plus foxes and stoats) and disease, mostly the Strongyle worm – the less said about it the better, but this is what caused the 2005 population crash.

 

Post removal of the birds' plumage, it is virtually impossible to discern between a male and female bird; however, there are several techniques to establish the difference between young and old birds.

Grouse can fly after just 12–13 days and are fully grown after 5 or 6 weeks.

Grouse are herbivorous and feed mainly on shoots, seeds, cereal crops, some insects, heather and bilberries, the latter two influencing the flavour the most, with the berries adding to the purple colour of the meat. Heather is their mainstay, and they eat it almost exclusively through the winter.

Young grouse are those that have hatched that year and generally weigh 280–400g; they are always very tender and cost more than old grouse. Old grouse of 400–500g (i.e. breeding grouse) are still tasty, but you occasionally get a tough one – these are more suitable for the casserole or pies. While these weights form general guidance, it should also be noted that a young grouse can often weigh as much as an old grouse, and that is when the experienced gamekeeper and cook engage other techniques to test the age.

Always note that you are likely to find small lead shot in your grouse.

 
 
 
Grouse Photo 1
Grouse Photo 2
Grouse Photo 3
Grouse Photo 4
Grouse Photo 5
Grouse Photo 6

At Boundary Restaurant we serve grouse only in the traditional manner: roasted whole in the oven and served with a thin gravy (often not needed as the grouse are lovely and juicy if cooked correctly), bread sauce, game chips and crumbs, plus a delicious croûte of pâté made from the liver and heart, all accompanied by a good handful of peppery watercress. The grouse for our kitchens have generally spent 5–7 days hanging in specially designed storage units at temperatures never exceeding 4 degrees Celsius. Ambient storage methods that generally give some game a very strong taste, almost putrid, are no longer practised in the commercial restaurant sphere.

Chambolle Musigny

What wine to accompany your grouse?
For Gabriel Danis, head sommelier at Boundary, it most certainly has to be Chambolle-Musigny. The current award-winning Boundary wine list includes wines from the Grand Cru vineyards of Les Musigny (immediately neighbouring Clos de Vougeot and very close to Flagey-Échézeaux and Vosne-Romanée) and Bonnes Mares. The restaurant wine list also includes Les Amoureuses, probably the finest Chambolle. During the game season, at least one Chambolle- Musigny will always be available by the glass.

Gabriel Danis says: 'Chambolle-Musigny is a racy wine that provides the perfect match for the gaminess of grouse. The wild forest fruits and delicate complex tannins, together with a gentle attack followed by a particularly long finish – all combine to create a perfect marriage. The cost may occasionally break a marriage, but enjoy it while you can ... said the divorcee.'

Extra tasting note: While we certainly do not always advocate red wines with all cheeses, Chambolle is also the perfect accompaniment to a ripe Brie de Meaux.

 

Chambolle-Musigny is a commune to the south of Dijon in the Côte de Nuits. Its wines are often known to produce the most feminine, pure Pinot Noir varietals. Chambolle-Musigny is sometimes called the 'Queen of all Burgundy', and the pre-phylloxera vines from this region are also known to be mother of most major New World Pinots. It is also known that Chambolle-Musigny was, at the time of Louis XV reign, the Duke of Burgundy's table wine for all banquets during the hunting season.

Chambolle-Musigny
Magnums and More

Join us for dinner on Mondays in Boundary restaurant and bring some friends. All magnums and larger format bottles on our list are available for purchase with a 10% discount. A further select few are available with at least a 20% discount. 'Magnums and more' available on Mondays 6.30pm-10.30pm.

Magnums and More
 
Opening Hours

Lunch

Tuesday to Friday Noon to 3.00pm

Sunday Noon to 4.00pm

Dinner Reservations

Monday to Saturday 6.30pm to 10.30pm
Bar closes at Midnight

To make a reservation please call 020 7729 1051 or please email restaurant@theboundary.co.uk

Boundary Albion Lutyens Chateau Boundary

2-4 BOUNDARY STREET, LONDON E2 7DD
T 020 7729 1051 F 020 7729 3061
THEBOUNDARY.CO.UK

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