This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
There is a demand pressed upon hotel-keepers and stewards for peculiarly Scotch dishes for annual celebrations more frequently than for those of any other nationality, and the following repertory will be found useful. For the benefit of your readers (writes Mac Haggis) I beg to send you the following recipe for Grouse Soup which is a most palatable potage. It is usually made from birds which have been hashed in the shooting, or cheepers. Let the grouse be plucked and drawn, joint them, and stew the pieces patiently in two or three pints of diluted soup-stock till they are tender. Put the backbones of the birds in another pot, and simmer till all the virtue has been extracted; then strain the liquor from each pot and mix it together, restoring to it the best of the joints. Give this a smart boil in another pan, season to taste with pepper and salt, add one knob of sugar and a glass of port-wine. If preferred, a little bit of carrot may be boiled in the compound - many persons add a slice of toasted bread cut into very small dice. This soup takes about two hours and a half to make ready.
Perhaps some, however, would prefer to try the celebrated Potage a la Meg Merrii.ees, which used to be served at Abbotsford. This soup was "composed" by the then Duke of Buccleuch's chef at Bow Hill in honor of Sir Walter Scott. A couple of "gray" hens or blackcock, an old grouse, or two or three cheepers, with a partridge or two, are necessary for this compound, but no stock is used. Cut up the birds, and stew them in as much water as is necessary for making into soup, reserving twenty or so of the fleshy bits for after-use. Put in the stewpan the heart of a small cabbage, a cut carrot, and a few large beans (about a dozen) which have had their skins removed; let them be all slowly stewed for three hours, keeping the lid of the pot close. When the time is about up for the stew being done, fry the reserved pieces quickly in flour and butter, place them in another pot, and strain the liquor from the stew over them. Boil again, with a head of celery cut into very small bits; season with salt and a pinch of cayenne. The second boiling should last for an hour or so.
Note: Mac Haggis is not sufficiently explicit about the frying "the reserved pieces in flour and butter," which cannotbe done; but means fairerevenir(see Revenir) - to fry the pieces in butter, then add flour, and after that the stock, which will be thickened by the extempore roux thus made.
"While I am in my battene de cuisine, I must give a formula for the making of hare-soup, as it is served on the best Scottish dinner-tables - a vastly different compound from what we are accustomed to in Lon don. As much of the blood of the hare must be saved as possible; so that snared or coursed hares are the best for the soup-pot. Use a couple; cut one in joints, in order to make a stock; boil it in as much water as may be required for the soup, with, say, two heads of celery, an onion or two, and an apple pared and cored. If hares are scarce, boil 3 lbs. of leg of beef, bones and all, by way of stock; joint the second hare carefully, saving every drop of the blood, which pour into the stock, both being cold at the time of mixing, having previously strained it into a clean pan; set on the fire, and stir constantly till it boils; then add the joints of the hare; and keep the soup simmering till they are cooked, say in about 70 minutes; serve very hot, with a portion of the meat to each guest, taking care to give the head to a professed epicure.
Sir Walter Scott used to say that hares were created to be made into soup".