Thursday, 20 August 2009

The Red Grouse

The Red Grouse is never far from heather and it's Gaelic name is Coileach-fraoich (Cock of the Heather). No one really knows where the name Grouse originated from – it could come from two old French words: groucier - to murmur, grumble or greoche – speckled.

Contrary to popular belief, Grouse is not that expensive - the public perception that it is only to be enjoyed by those wielding a 12-bore shot gun on a Yorkshire grouse moor or patrons of high-end restaurants, could not be more wrong. The reality is that in Scotland and Northern England nothing could be more closely termed as 'local' produce – a brace costing £5.00 - £6.00.

The Red Grouse lives on heather, shoots, seeds and insects - providing it's dark flesh with a rich and unique flavour that is high in protein and low in fat. You can roast it like a chicken some variations cover the breast in bacon or wrap the bird in vine leaves. For a traditional roast grouse recipe, place slices of lightly browned toast under the bird, once the cooking is done, to catch the dripping. Serve with the toast, some bread sauce, game chips and watercress, topped with gravy made from the bones of the neck and a glass of red wine. An alternative way to make a delicious gravy is to stuff the Grouse with rowan berries or wild raspberries. The fruit melts away but leaves a delicious juice that you can compliment with Rowan Jelly.

No comments: