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Traditional roast grouse recipe – perfect for young birds

A classic dish in the game cook's repertoire - everybody should know how to roast a grouse. Serves two.

Traditional roast grouse recipe

Traditionally roasted grouse

It’s part of shooting etiquette to eat what you shoot, and so if you’re venturing out on the grouse moor in the next few weeks, then you need to have this classic traditional roast grouse recipe up the sleeve of your tweeds.

Over the next few weeks it’s going to be all about cooking the young birds, so you don’t need to be concerned that they’re going to be tough. Which means they are perfect for roasting. (Later on in the season, you’ll need to have some other grouse recipes at your disposal, which you can find here.)

Free-range, natural and healthy

Another advantage of cooking young birds is that you don’t need to hang them. You can cook them immediately if that’s what you want to do.  Young grouse are also wild, free range and healthy.

The traditional accompaniments to roast grouse are bread sauce and game chips (which are thin and crispy). Cumberland sauce is also perfection.

You might like to garnish your dish with a sprig of watercress as a finishing touch.

new season grouse

Recipe for traditional roast grouse


  • Brace of oven-ready grouse, laced with bacon
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Milled white pepper
  • 30g soft unsalted butter
  • Cup of Madeira wine
  • Cup of good chicken stock
  • 5g diced cold unsalted butter
  • A few rosemary and thyme leaves
  • Watercress
  • 90ml bread sauce
  • 90ml Cumberland sauce (here’s a recipe for Cumberland sauce)


Pre-heat the oven to 220°C or gas mark 7.

  • Season the grouse both inside and out with salt and milled pepper.
  • Push the herbs inside the birds after seasoning.
  • Brush the breasts of the bird with the soft butter.
  • Place in a hot pan together with a little dripping and seal both sides of the grouse until golden brown on all sides.
  • Place in the oven and roast for approximately 15 minutes (medium rare), basting the birds every so often.
  • When cooked, remove the grouse from the oven and allow to rest in a warm place.
  • Return the pan to the heat; add the Madeira wine and chicken stock.
  • Bring to the boil and reduce until the sauce thickens.
  • Add some chilled and diced butter and whisk the sauce gently until the butter has thickened and enriched the sauce.
  • Pass through a fine strainer.
  • Place the grouse in your serving dish, top with grilled bacon.
  • Place the washed watercress in the base of the bird and gently spoon the Madeira wine sauce over the grouse.

Serve with bread sauce and Cumberland sauce.

walked up grouse

How to cook young grouse

I get very excited when I create a recipe for young grouse and this one is no exception, using a…

For the game chips

  • 600g Maris Piper potato (you could also use sweet potatoes or parsnips)
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Flaked sea salt


  • Peel the potatoes or parsnips
  • Slice them as thin as you can
  • Put in a bowl of water for 20 minutes to remove the starch
  • Rinse, dry thoroughly and fry in oil for two to three minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
  • Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with a little salt and keep warm until ready to serve. (They will keep for up to 30 minutes before serving.)