Grouse, Served

Plated

Tonight I prepared the grouse that had fallen out of the sky and into my hands.

I breasted-out the bird, pulling two three and a half ounce cutlets from the bones. These I pounded and sautéed in butter, then simmered briefly in a sauce I'd made from dried cranberries and tart cherries that had macerated in Madeira all day. I'd reduced the fruit with rosemary, duck demi-glace, and cream to bind it. I scattered a bit of fresh rosemary on top for the service, which added a bright, herbaceous note. The rice was whole grain long brown, because I like its nuttiness. The green beans were local. And we opened a bottle of Windy Oaks Pinot.

The meat tasted sweet and delicate, with no hint of the gameyness some had warned about, maybe because I'd rinsed the breasts, washing off the blood that can impart a gamey flavor. It tasted somewhat of chicken, and slightly of, oddly, pork tenderloin. It had a wild, free, animal quality that reminded me of autumn.

See more photos of preparation.

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