View Full Version : Grouse
I happened upon a grouse the other day and decided to shoot it. I figured it would taste something like a ptarmigan since it looks so much like one (nice reasoning, huh?.) So with great anticipation I made a fire and cooked my grouse. It was nasty. Not just ¨not so good¨ - I mean it was gross!
I told my buddy about it, so we got another one a few days later to see if maybe the problem was in my cooking. This time we roasted it over the fire and even gave it a honey glaze. No dice - still disgusting. I had to eat it with peanut butter in order to hide the taste.
So what´s the problem here? Wrong kind of grouse? Special preparation needed? I´d like to hunt them because of the way they just sit there and beg me to put an arrow through them. But I don´t think I can handle much more of eating them.
This is not a woods recipe but if you don't like this, you should probably just donate your grouse to me. If someone does cook this in the field, please invite me on your next hunt! This is courtesy of the L.L. Bean Game & Fish Cookbook which I highly recommend. Frankly, after my wife cooked this, all grouse come home and I'd only eat one in the field under survival conditions -- not because it doesn't taste good in camp but because this recipe is so good -- to me anyway! I've used it for blue (dusky) grouse and have substituted plain old, boneless skinless chicken breast but would imagine it would be a good pheasant recipe as well.
In more recent years, I've eaten in some pretty swank restaraunts in the course of business travel but this is my favorite meal to date. It might have something to due to the fact that this was back when the only meat we could afford was game meat and mac & cheese was a staple of our diet -- pre-kids no less! Any way, it is delicious.
Broiled Grouse on Giblet Toast (serves six, but not in my house)
The Liver Paste
8 Tb. butter
1/4 lb. livers (3 whole chicken livers plus the giblets of the grouse)
3 shallots or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
1/4 tsp. chervil
1/4 tsp. savory
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 sprig parsley
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. tarragon
1/4 tsp. thyme
The Toast Canapes
6 bread slices
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup bacon fat
6 Tb. soft butter
Melt half the butter in a saucepan and saute the grouce giblets, chicken livers, and shallots or garlic over low heat until the chicken livers are cooked through but still pink in the middle (4-5 minuts).
Add the wine, chervil, savory, boulillon cube, parsley and bay leaf, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Take out and set aside the livers and giblets.
Strain the stock and set aside (you will use this stock to baste the grouse). You should have about 3/4 cup.
Mince the grouse gizzards and hearts. Add the livers, tarragon, thyme and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and put all, or livers only (smash with fork), into a blender or food processor. Turning the machine in a quick on-off succession, tender into thick paste by mixing in remaining 4 tablespoons butter.
For the toast canapes, melt the butter and bacon fat and saute the bread slices until golden brown on both sides.
With poultry shears or knife split the grouse down the backbone and along one side of the breastbone, rub with salt and pepper, and spread the soft butter on skin side.
Place 6 grouse halves in shallow broiling pan, skin side up and broil about 3 inches from the heat for about 18 minutes on each side, basting often with the stock and the melted butter drippings from the pan.
Spread the toast with the liver paste, put a grouse half on each slice of toast, place on hot platter and keep warm.
Put broiling pan and its contents over high heat on top of stove. Add more stock (or water if you are out of stock) and boil furiously until it reduces to form a gravy.
Pour over grouse halves and serve.
10-20-2007, 06:57 AM
One time I got a grouse that apparently fed on the sage brush that was in the area. It was unbelievably bad tasting. I haven't eaten enough grouse to draw conclusions other than suspecting it was the sage. Ptarmigan in Alaska tasted quite good.
Ate one cooked over the fire grill with salt,pepper & garlic during the high buck hunt - fantastic! It was right next to the black bear tenderloin steaks (that my buddy had just shot) and instant mashed potatoes. Beat all the dehydrated meals we brought!
Cooked up two more grouse that my 10 yr old son shot during the main rifle deer hunt and both of them were cooked the same simple way and were delicious. These (ruffed) grouse were all taken in forested areas of pine trees and aspens.
I notice you´re from Seattle. I spent a few years up that way and killed a couple grouse while I was there. The thing is that those grouse I had up there didn´t taste like these things here in Colorado. Admittedly my sample number was small.
I will try the recipe above at the next opportunity.
10-23-2007, 08:23 AM
They were a different species too, although I don't think that has much of a bearing on the meat. The bird's diet might.
10-23-2007, 09:12 AM
Any of the forest grouse (ruffed, spruce and blues) are great table fare. A sage grouse will make you wish that you were eating carp instead. What kind was it?
10-23-2007, 12:58 PM
Blues and spruce grouse can get pretty funky late in the season when their diet changes. I only hunt them until upland bird season opens. Early or late, they do appear to be a more stinky bird when it comes to the cleaning.
Bone them, cut them into small bite size pieces and drop them into your Ramon. Best darn Ramon one could ever eat!
If your at home go for the breaded deep fried route. I still have a few years before the insurance company makes me watch my diet.
By the way how do you spell ramon?
10-23-2007, 07:01 PM
Ramen. I used to live off it in the backcountry...long before I turned 40. Now I think it has way too much sodium. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif I used to eat all kinds of nasty stuff! Back in high school I remember hauling cans of Dinty Moore stew in my backpack and cooking it up on one of Mom's borrowed pots.
Small game, any kind with long ears fins or feathers, also goes well boned, diced, and dumped into a pot of rice or barley with some low-sodium (of course!) bullion, dehydrated onions and cilantro and simmered on a Kifaru stove. Yum. I wish I had a nickel for every ounce of trout and small game cooked on that thing. I think I could retire!
10-26-2007, 10:31 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: CCH</div><div class="ubbcode-body">This is not a woods recipe but if you don't like this, you should probably just donate your grouse to me. If someone does cook this in the field, please invite me on your next hunt! This is courtesy of the L.L. Bean Game & Fish Cookbook which I highly recommend. </div></div>
+1 on this recipe. Just a side note -- I have this same cookbook and it is BY FAR the best and most comprehensive game preparation cookbook I've seen. Not sure if LL Bean still offers it (haven't looked and I recieved mine as a gift over 25 years ago) but it should be on every hunters kitchen cookbook list. Everything from pretty basic camp cooking (usually assuming you're in an outfutted camp, not backpack) to gourmet delights like CCH has posted.
My experience has been that almost any way I cook them from broiled on a stick over the fire to roasted in foil with olive oil and garlic (usually in the pack for just this application --and hopefully deer/elk tenderloins) to more involved things at home they're plumb delicious. So my guess is +1 on the sage or other funky diet making this particular bird not bueno.
Like Cleve, I can't recommend the L.L. Bean Cookbook enough. The only recipe that didn't work out so far was one for marmot but there could have been operator error involved.
10-27-2007, 02:14 PM
Thanks for the link CCH. Glad to see this cookbook is still available.
10-31-2007, 08:37 AM
I had a grouse that a buddy shot and this was some years ago. Had it with a squirrel also. That grouse was the best meat I ever had with only venison tenderloin being as good. This would be a ruffed grouse. Gonna have to try and get some this year.
Roll breasts halves and legs in flour with salt, pepper, garlic powder (or other spices you like), lightly brown in cast iron skillet with lots of parmesan cheese and some white wine added. Cover with lid and let simmer until done. Nothing finer.
11-06-2007, 12:28 PM
We shoot a lot of grouse while backpacking here in Washington. We peel back the breast-skin and fillet off the breasts. We cut those up an fry in olive oil and garlic. Older birds can be tough, but, cooked this way they usually taste pretty good. I had several poor-tasting grouse before settling on this method/recipe. Last time, we also cooked up the livers. They were excellent!
03-03-2008, 03:42 PM
You're probably referring to sage grouse or sage chickens as we locals call them... they feed off sage and taste like it too... Ruffed Grouse is one of my favorite meals along with chuckers which are harder to kill but worth the effort...
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.8 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.