This is the game bird for true game fans! Our wild red grouse sports a characteristically lean, full-flavored meat thanks to the fact that they come from the Highlands of Northern Scotland where they feed on a diet of heather, tundra and grasses.
Like all our wild Scottish game, our grouse are procured in private weekend estate hunts organized exclusively for D'Artagnan. They are immediately processed in a facility supervised by the European Economic Community Inspectors, and arrive in the U.S. within just two days of the hunt, for the freshest wild game birds possible.
The red grouse is only found in the United Kingdom, living in the unique heather habitat of the moors. Its characteristically lean, robust meat that is so prized by game connoisseurs has hints of the heather, tundra and grass that the birds eat.
Grouse hunting season begins with fanfare on August 12 (known as The Glorious Twelfth) and ends on December 10 every year. Shooting only takes place if birds are plentiful enough on the moors, and their moorland habitat is managed by dedicated gamekeepers to ensure the future of these birds.
Grouse is best prepared slowly roasted or braised. Traditionally it is barded in bacon and stuffed with butter before roasting. You could also baste often with duck fat and chicken stock, as the lean meat is easily dried out when overcooked. First timers should note that grouse has one of the strongest game flavors (and smells) found in any wild bird. We recommend cooking the legs (the strongest tasting part of the bird) separately from the rest of the bird. Season: Fresh stock is generally available from September to February.
Note: game meat may occasionally contain the shot. Chew with caution.
"This simple recipe showcases the rich, meaty flavor of grouse. It is grilled and seasoned with little more than salt, pepper and dried thyme."
"Hail the Glorious Twelfth – the day every August when grouse season begins in Scotland. Should you be lucky enough to have a brace or two of these fat little birds, this classic dish will do them, and your appetite, justice."
"Ian McNaught, head chef at the Roman Camp Country House Restaurant in Scotland, describes his style as modern Scottish cuisine with a French influence. In Scotland, grouse season begins on what is known as the Glorious 12th (of August) and continues through February. "