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Spent a glorious week on Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior baggin' grouse and woodcock and catching my first Coasters on a Spey rod. A rookie with the 2-hander and I love it! Fish were sparse but managed 2 very nice (21")Coaster Brook Trout on a Freight Train. One had a fantastic kype and both were in their spawning brilliance. Very Cool!(For those that don't know a coaster is a native Brook Trout that lives in Lake Superior and migrates up the rivers and streams to spawn in the fall. The N. Shore of Lake Superior, Minnesota and Ontario host the last strong remnants of this great fish. Efforts are underway to return them to Wisconsin and Michigan as well.)
I read with interest all the discussion earlier about the search for good grouse recipes. Here in Minnesota we have a awesome grouse population and I have cooked grouse dozens of different ways. I have got 3 recipes that I make every year and I feel they are knock out's. Hopefully you won't mind if I post them here.

Grouse w/ Cranberry-Sage Butter
ó 2 dressed grouse (approx. 1lb each)
ó salt & fresh pepper
ó 1 tart apple
ó 8 sprigs fresh sage
ó 1/4 cup cranberries
ó 2 tablespoons water
ó 1 stick butter (8tbs)
ó 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
ó 1 shallot, peeled and minced
ó 4 pieces good quality bacon
ó Dark stock or low salt canned broth or wine or water to cover the bottom of the roasting pan

Rinse birds, pat dry. Sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper. Core and quarter the apples. Place 2 quarters of apple and 4 sprigs of sage in each bird cavity.
In a small saucepan cook the cranberries in the water until the pop. Let cool. Pour berries along with butter, sage, and shallot into food processor. Process until combined.
Rub the birds with half of the mixture and drape 2 slices of bacon over each bird. Place on roasting rack set over roasting pan. Put about 2 inches of wine, stock, or water into the bottom of the pan. Tent the birds with aluminum foil and place in preheated 350’ oven.
Roast for 40 minutes. Remove foil and baste with more of the butter mixture if needed. Continue to roast for 5-10 more minutes or until browned. Carve grouse and serve with butter compound melting over each piece.

Grouse Bisque (My Favorite!)
ó 2 grouse (or more for bigger portion)
ó 1 cup water
ó 1 stalk celery
ó 1 small bell pepper
ó 1 small red onion
ó 1 cup of mushrooms
ó ½ cup flour
ó black pepper
ó salt
ó 1 quart half and half
ó 1 teaspoon dry mustard
ó butter
ó saffron
ó bacon grease

Place birds in a steamer with 1 cup of water. Steam 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool and save liquid in the pot. Pick meat from birds and set aside
Chop pepper, onion, mushrooms and celery fine and sauté in butter until golden brown.
Slowly add flour to make paste. Add small amounts of salt, pepper and saffron to taste. Add half and half and stir until creamy. Do not boil. Add dry mustard and bacon grease.
Add meat and adjust thickness with liquid from steamer.
Serve with a warm hunk of French bread, sharp cedar, and a cold amber ale.


Hints:
For the bisque recipe I have found that using 1 pint of half and half and the rest 1% milk works just fine and cuts down on some of the fat.
You don’t need very much saffron, just a pinch goes a long way. Be sure to start with very little and adjust the taste from there.
I typically need more butter when adding the flour. The flour soaks up the excess butter pretty quick.



Grouse with Wild Rice

2-3 Grouse
1 Cup wild rice(add more if needed for larger portions)
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic-minced
½ cup red onion-minced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup milk (or ½& ½)
Salt and pepper to taste

This is a recipe I have developed and you can add or subtract items to suit your taste.
Start cooking the wild rice in a large pot (2 ½-3 qrt.). While rice has been started bake the Grouse in a 350 degree oven until no longer pink(you can bake on a rack set inside a pan and add a small amount of water to the pan to help the breasts stay moist). Take grouse out of oven and let cool. Separate grouse meat from breasts and pull or chop into small chunks, set aside. When rice is nearing completion add the garlic and onion. This will blend the flavors of the garlic and onion with the wild rice. Drain any excess water from the rice and put pan back on burner on medium low heat. Add grouse chunks, cream of mushroom soup and the milk. Mix all together thoroughly and heat but do not boil. Last but not least add the celery, this is added last to help it retain its crispness. Salt and pepper to taste.
:p :p
 

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Birdog,

The great grouse hunting in Northeastern Pennsylvania is one of the few things I miss about leaving there some 25 years ago. I have fond memories of going grouse hunting after getting home from school (I lived in a village of 185 people that was the Township seat) and then getting to eat them for dinner after returning home. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You bet!

Flytyer,
It's hard to beat walking through the fall woods with your dog flushin' birds. I wish we would have a good fall run of steelies here on Minnesota's N. Shore but it just would not support it. There are intensive efforts to get the Coasters back to historic levels and all signs are promising, so hopefully we have that to look forward to. I can consider myself spoiled to be able to spend a great week in the woods fishing in the morning and hunting in the afternoon or vice versa. Just had my grouse bisque leftovers last night and they were dyn-o-mite!
Cheers,
Birdog
 

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Careful ,
those recipes might just get used in londons Soho ,the game season is just kicking off over here and French Partridge is going at a super price from one of my suppliers .
BTW the French Partridge is also called the red legged partridge and is not our native one which is the grey ,which make great flys as well,
I added the bit about the French as I hear the Gaulish ones are not flavour of the month over the other side of the pond ,they were much better when we rulled large parts of it .
:smokin:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
French Partridge?

Sure that's not the Yellow Legged Partridge?:hehe:
Yeah, I think that those recipes will go with most game birds and chicken as well.
Another great idea is to broil small Woodcock or Snipe breasts and then peel off and dip in some garlic butter......:p
Birdog
 

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here is my favorite grouse recipe

These are for white meated grouse or partridge(Ruff, Chukar): Breast birds carefully. Also leg them. Bone out thigh bone, leaving lower leg attached at knee. Very Important to Remove tendons from the breast section by fileting them out or by pulling them from the meat(you can do this with your teeth if no squeamish folks are watching). In a 10 inch black iron skillet, brown to half -way done in butter a pound of fresh mushrooms, salt and pepper mushrooms at conlcusion andset aside. Flour each piece of bird, place in iron skillet in light butter , and brown to form a crust on each side(but not to blacken) over medium heat . When birds are half cooked and crusted, remove pieces until all are prepared i nthis manner(halfcooked, crusted) and last piece are still in the skillet...then salt and peper all piece lighlty, place all of the legs i n the bottom of the skillet, so there is one layer of legs..then placethe browned breast pieces on top ofthe legs...then put all the mushrooms on thetop layer...add enough chardonay to fill skillet 2/3 and cover(this is very critical part ) with a heavy iron lid fo rht skillet..place in preheated oven for 35 minutes at 350...result will be great gravy FOR RICE , great birds, and folks fightin' ove rthe leftovers. Also a killer for pheasants...be sure to get tendons oout of breat meat if at all possible. sIMPLE..YOU CAN DRINK A BEER OR TWO WHILE YOU ARE DOING THIS...would loveto nbe grouse hunting in the nrth country right now, but ended up after Oregon chukar last week instead.
 

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Lafayette .ET al

Over Here weve been hating those yellow legged Frogs for a long time ,I beleive some of them helped chuck out British rule of you colonials .
BTW this is very tounge in cheek .

I have several french friends who are superb fishers and many more french guys working in resturants who I count as great guys ,however their politicians ???
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Better Beer

Some of us wished you would have stayed longer then we would have had better beer (and better Rugby). Oh well, some of my late relatives would never have been able to see Europe without our friends the French.
Like you said all tounge in cheek. The plain old joe's are good fella's and in the end it is our politician's who turn the stomach.
Anyway....back to the important stuff....how was the Atlantic fishing this year?
Birdog
 

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atlantics this year

Due to an unexpected careerer change and shorter funds than normal only had four days ,first an pair of beats on middle tweed .two days and one bright spinger at last knockings to a wee shrimp fly of a deep red hue fished right in the throat of the pool ,this was on the cheaper of the two beats ,the other beat has some stunning fly water which was just a joy to fish ,and it was stuffed with fish they just didnt want to know though .
The other two days were just acouple of weeks ago on the Cumbrian derwent ,a goodly stretch just below Bassenthwaite lake ,first run down hooked a couple pf wee browns and went into trout mode hitting the touches ,Stupid boy ! I hit a touch and a fine silver fish pulled back swirled and was gone ,
did have a 2lb ish brown seatrout which was no sport on my 15'Loomis #11 .that was my lot but Lord Geoff my often salmon fishing partner had his 4th ever salmon and even the mad Chef was spey casting with some verve .
One of the highlights of this trip next to helping Geoff land and release his fish ,was the first sight of a red Squirrel ,havent seen one in England for many years .
BTW Geoff isnt a Lord ,its a tag he got on one of our Irish visits some time back ,and its Stuck ,useful occaisionally getting that booking for a hotel or resturant " Oh dear Lord Geoff was so looking forward to trying your -----" well it works some times
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great Gig!

Sound like a few nice days out on the beats!
I like the Lord gig, it could pay dividends.
Birdog
 

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Hes one of the few that wears breeks ,collar and tie to go fishing .:smokin: time they got a pipe smokin smilie just for me and i think Fred
 

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Not the only gentleman Andy there are a few left.

I hope he has a tweed to coat as well.
 

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tweed coat of course

Even i have one of those ,and I,m not known for sartorial elegance ,Lord Geoff just seems to have it all in spades ,think there might be Tweed under garments .
hes coming round for partridge tommorow I'll ask !!:hehe:
 

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Hi
The conversation over the starters and exposing Mi Lord to this esteemed website reveals to us all that lord Jeff does'nt wear any tweed underpants. This was typed under instuction by ACW's son ,Hugh because dad was in the kitchen, (mother sniggers) BTW the partridge looks good

Have a good week and eat well .

HCW/ACW(boy and his dad).:hehe: :hehe: :hehe: :hehe: :hehe: :hehe:
 
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