Grouse are the most flavourful of game birds; their deep gamey taste is distinctly different from any other. The grouse season begins on the ‘Glorious 12th’ of August each year. The flavour of the birds gets stronger as the season continues towards its end in December so make the most of the opportunity to try this wild bird.
Grouse can be roasted whole, but in this method the legs and wings are removed to ensure that the breasts do not overcook whilst waiting for the tougher joints to be sufficiently done. The legs can be confited or used to make a tasty stock.
It’s important to clean the grouse out thoroughly as any remaining lungs and blood will cause the bird to taste bitter
If you prefer the meat more well done, leave in the oven for an extra 5 minutes
To roast grouse whole, place on a baking tray and place in the oven for 14–16 minutes basting halfway through the cooking time.
To add more flavour to grouse when cooking, try stuffing the cavity with herbs and spices such as thyme, rosemary, juniper or even heather.
Adam stokes cooks his grouse sous vide for 1 hour at 57°C before finishing in a pan.
Traditionally served with bread sauce and game chips, grouse is also well suited to acidic fruits such as blackberry and cherry. William Drabble serves Roast grouse with blackberries and port wine jus and Shay Cooper serves Grouse with figs, heritage carrots and chocolate porter sauce.