Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Grouse... gross?

Talking to a friend the other day about Grouse made me think about the unpopularity of game birds in the US.
Since this is prime game bird season I thought I'd write a few posts about them... starting with Grouse.

Granted its been a few years since I've eaten or cooked one.. I remember it having a strong, dark, gamey taste.
I should note the grouse I ate was shot wild!

The rule is, when you eat a wild animal it always tastes way different than the same farm raised animal.
The reasons being that the wild animals are usually migratory, have a very different diet and are much more active.

Most farmed grouse in America are raised in the Dakota's (true of most game birds), and are a breed called Ruffed Grouse.

They weigh right about a in the forest and love to eat pine needles, berries, and buds!
In order to process all the grit they're getting with their food from the forest floor they usually have big gizzards and long intestines.
So its really important to make sure they're washed properly inside and out.

Since these guys are small and have very little fat on them, I would recommend roasting them with bacon covering the breast, making sure not to overcook them.
Or just remove the breast (since there's not much other meat) and sear it medium rare. You can use the remainder of the bird to make a great sauce for the breasts.

thanks for the image!


  1. Grouse looks great, use the pain drippings for a good gravy!!

  2. Grouse is not gross.
    Wild meat is game that has lived as it was meant to.
    The taste is stronger, the meat is tougher, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
    We don't have grouse here but it looks good, I love the amount of herbs stuffed in there!