Until a few years ago, people did not think twice before relishing different kinds of birds. Unfortunately, over the last few years, epicureans’ interest in feathered game birds has become restricted to pheasants. The consensus is that game birds are difficult to procure and even more difficult to cook. This, however, is not true at all.
In many parts of Britain, grouse continues to be a popular delicacy. The grouse season officially begins on August 12, with the _Glorious Twelfth _and continues until late December. During this time, getting good grouse is rather easy. More importantly, since grouse is a wild bird that exists in abundance, there is no need to feel guilty about farm welfare.
However, there are a few things to be kept in mind before one starts cooking grouse as well as during the cooking process. To start with, grouse is almost always shot in the wild and therefore, chances are your grouse will be carrying some lead, which you must get rid of before cooking the bird. Further, while cooking, make sure to truss the bird so that it maintains its shape during the cooking process. Lastly, grouse must always be cooked slowly.
Can you eat grouse rare? This is one of the most commonly asked questions and the answer is yes. In fact, grouse must always be served rare. Make sure to keep the colour pink while cooking as this will ensure that the meat retains its moisture, which gives grouse its idiosyncratic flavour. While cooking, keep a check on the grouse breasts. You should cook grouse only enough so that it becomes springy. However, the meat should not be too soft.
Grouse is a lean bird. Thus, one of the keys concerns while cooking grouse is cooking it in such a way that it does lose its moisture. Therefore, the best way to cook grouse is to roast the crown first — this trick will ensure that the delicate meat of the bird is well-protected while being cooked. Yet another thing that most grouse lovers do not know is that grouse liver and heart is good for health and therefore, should never be discarded. In fact, one should pan fry these parts and serve them on a sourdough toast as a side dish. Lastly, since grouse is a delicacy best enjoyed in autumn and winter, make it a point to serve your grouse rare and with seasonal fruits and vegetables on the side. Blackberries and beetroot go particularly well with this feathered game bird.