When it's the grouse mating season you'll hear these birds' bubbling call deep in the forest. Grouse eat leaves, berries and insects. In the winter they perch in birch trees and eat buds.
The male weighs up to two kilos and the female about half of that. The male has blue/black plumage, red around the eyes and is white under the tail. The female is greyish brown.
Meat from black grouse is dark and has a strong flavor, but is milder than that of a capercaillie, for example. The texture is finer than a capercaillie as well. Older meat is darker and has a stronger flavor while younger animals have lighter meat that tastes deliciously mild.
After a winter diet of birch buds, grouse can have a slightly acrid flavor.
Keep in mind
Members of the grouse family, like capercaillie, black grouse and ptarmigan have the most gamey flavor of all wild fowl.
The male grouse is bigger than the female but gourmets would say that the females taste better.
One bird can serve to 2 to 4 people depending on its weight.
The meat is dark and has a clearly gamey flavor.
How to cook grouse
Fry the grouse breast:
- Cut out the fillets.
- Brown the breasts and finish in the oven at 150°C until the meat thermometer shows 50°C.
- Make a delicious, strong tasting sauce using game stock and blackcurrant juice.
Roast grouse whole: Roast the bird in the oven at 170-180°C to an internal temperature of 70°C. Cover the flesh of the meat with fat in one form or other.
The basics when roasting whole birds:
- Remove the giblets. Save the liver, heart and gizzard (e.g. for the sauce).
- Wipe the bird dry and remove any feathers with tweezers.
- Add fat under the skin, e.g. bacon and/or lard.
- Season on the outside and on the inside.
- Tie the bird into a neat shape for more even cooking.
- Juices run clear = completely cooked.
- Leave the meat to rest!
Make grouse meatballs: Mince the meat. Use your usual meatballs recipe but mix in a few hundred grams of fatty bacon.
You'll find more ideas for cooking wild fowl under.
Grouse game burgers with a creamy mushroom sauce and cherries.