Menu

Glossary

Grouse

Grouse

Pronounce it: grau-se

Of all the feathered game, grouse is considered the king - hence the first day of the grouse shooting season, 12 August, being named The Glorious Twelth.

Grouse is native to Scotland but is found elsewhere in the UK. Its flesh is rich, with a distinctive red colour and a gamey flavour, and it's quite small, meaning that one bird is enough for one person. Young birds are best roasted, while older birds work well cooked in a casserole.

Availability

Grouse is at its best from August until December.

Choose the best

As grouse are wild birds, rather than farmed, they should all be of pretty good quality, though the way in which they're treated after shooting does have an impact. Look for birds that are plump, with unblemished, fresh-looking deep red skin - avoid any that seem dry, or smell 'off'. The younger the bird, the better the flesh - a pliable breast bone, feet and legs and sharp claws all indicate that a grouse isn't mature.

Prepare it

First, you need to remove the wishbone. Pull back the skin from the neck cavity to expose the entrance, cut round it with a small, sharp knife and snip the bone free at the bottom. Then cut the grouse's wings and legs at the second joint - this makes for a neater-looking bird. Using kitchen paper, wipe the outside of the bird and inside the cavity. Season inside with salt and pepper, then push in some flavourings - try some sage leaves or sprigs of thyme or slices of lemon or apple. Tie the legs together with string and season the skin all over, brushing with soft butter or oil. You can also wrap the breast with pancetta or Parma ham to prevent it from drying out.

Store it

Keep the grouse in the fridge, on a tray, covered with foil or greaseproof paper for up to two days. Make sure it's on the bottom shelf so that any juices don't contaminate any other food; it's particularly important to keep the grouse away from any other cooked meats in the fridge.

Alternatives

Try guinea fowl, chicken or quail.

Skills & know how

As well as helping you decide what to cook we can also help you to cook it. From tips on cookery techniques to facts and information about health and nutrition, we’ve a wealth of foodie know how for you to explore.

About BBC Good Food

We’re all about good recipes, and about quality home cooking that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for some healthy inspiration or learning how to cook a decadent dessert, we’ve trustworthy guidance for all your foodie needs.

Our recipes

All our recipes are tested thoroughly by us to make sure they’re suitable for your kitchen at home. We know many of you are concerned about healthy eating, so we send them to a qualified nutritionist for thorough analysis too.

Tell us what you think…

Love the new look or think we’ve missed the mark? We want to hear your thoughts – good and bad – to make sure we make the new website as useful as possible.

Magazine

Subscribe to BBC Good Food magazine and get triple-tested recipes delivered to your door, every month.

Events

Discover the dates and details of all the BBC Good Food Shows.

On TV

See your favourite chefs on Sky Channel 247, Virgin TV 260 and find their recipes at goodfoodchannel.co.uk

Good Food Apps

Download the BBC Good Food Recipes, tips & cooking tools app and get good food on the go.