The following is a letter I received from a TFG fan that was asking about specific preparation for a Sharp Tailed Grouse or “Sharpie” as they are known as by seasoned upland bird hunters.
I am planning to serve your Texas wagon wheels for a group of my hunting buddies. I would like to use pheasant and sharp-tail grouse in lieu of chicken. Would you change anything in the recipe for this substitution?
Thanks for your request. I have done some research and have created a recipe for the Sharpie that I think you will enjoy. As for the pheasant, my Wagon Wheel recipe will work well with the white meat breasts, just be gentle when pounding with the stipple faced mallet and use a sheet of Saran wrap under and on top of the meat when tenderizing. I look forward to hearing back from you with your results from your dinner. Please send us a photo or two as well. Good luck and good hunting to you.
Hunting the Sharp Tailed Grouse is not an easy hunt as they tend to be skittish, often flushing well out of shotgun range. They fly considerable distances before landing, sometimes well out of sight, even on flat prairies. They don’t usually alert hunters with a noisy takeoff, as ruffed grouse do.
They are hunted with a permit in Wisconsin, and are not easy to bring down. The meat is dark red like dove or duck, so follow my instructions on how to prep the meat for grilling and the basting glaze we use to not only keep the meat moist but also to stand up to the strong flavor that is inherent in this species. This recipe is for Sharp- Tailed Grouse, but can be used for duck or goose as well. I have recommended a brining for the meat, as it is a dark red meat and will benefit from the treatment.
Prepare 4 servings of long grain and wild rice. When preparing:
Use chicken broth instead of water, and add a ¼ stick of unsalted butter
Coarsely chop the following:
8 oz. of Portabella mushrooms (sauté the mushrooms & onions in a stick of unsalted clarified butter)
3 green onions
¾ cups pecans
1 cup of dried cranberries
Cook the mushrooms & green onions until soft, add cranberries and pecans-stir for 2 minutes.
Now add the chicken broth. (The instructions on the rice package will tell you how much rice and water to use for the 4 servings. Be sure to substitute broth for water.)
After adding the broth stir well, bring to a boil and add the rice. Stir well to blend, add ½ TSPN of rubbed Sage, stir again, cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook until rice is tender. Remove from heat.
Preparing the Grouse
The Grouse by its very nature tends to have dark red meat on the legs and breasts, and due to their frequent flights and diet, they contain a strong tasting meat. I highly recommend a light ice water brining session over several hours and changing the water out at least once or twice to remove most all of the blood and adrenaline from the meat.
This recipe will require 4 boned Grouse breasts. Using a light stippled mallet, place the breast on a piece of plastic wrap on a good flat cutting board or surface, then cover with another piece of plastic wrap (to prevent spraying the meat’s juices) and pound the breast to tenderize but be careful not to put holes in the meat. Take the pounded breast, one at a t time, place 3/4 cup of the cooked rice on the breast. Roll the breast meat around the rice mixture and wrap with 2 strips of thin sliced bacon. Be sure to wrap tightly and then seal with toothpicks. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap to protect and return to the refrigerator until ready to grill.
Combine the following ingredients and heat over medium high heat until brought to a boil.
1 Cup Shiraz Wine (I like the peppery flavor of this wine, Merlot can be used as well.
½ jar -Texas Gourmet’s Jalapeno-Kiwi Jelly
1- Teaspoon- Rubbed Sage
2 cloves – Garlic minced
2 TBSPNS- Olive Oil- Extra Virgin would be preferred
1/3 Teaspoon- freshly cracked black pepper
Once boiling, stir well for about 3 to 4 minutes then remove from heat and reserve for basting and glazing.
Grill the wrapped meat indirectly over mesquite charcoal (or apple wood if available) at about 375 degrees.
Baste every 5-6 minutes, keep lid closed when not basting. Cook until meat is nicely caramelized and juices run clear (10-12 minutes). Remove from grill and transfer to a platter and cover tightly with a piece of foil for 5-7 minutes to rest and to aid in the redistribution of juices. Carefully remove toothpicks before serving.
Cream Poblano Pepper Soup- This recipe is readily available for download at our site @ www.texasgourmet.com and just go to the cookbook.
Brussel Sprouts- Steam brussel sprouts for about 15 minutes. Then stir fry the sprouts with fresh garlic, crispy bacon and black pepper, and a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.
Sliced sweet potatoes with unsalted butter and Sweet Chipotle Season All. -
“Most of the time, people serve sweet potatoes either candied or fried. I developed this recipe when I didn’t have the time to bake them whole, and I really like the flavor of them with the Sweet Chipotle. You actually taste the vegetable flavor. It’s great! ” Bryan Slaven
Rinse and slice 3 medium size sweet potatoes into ¼” thick slices. Arrange at an angle in a glass pyrex just big enough to hold them. Slice a cold stick of butter into 1/8″ pats and place in between slices. Sprinkle with Texas Gourmet’s Sweet Chipotle Season All. Cover and seal with foil. Place in preheated oven @400 degrees for approx. 20 to 25 minutes. Check for tenderness. When done, remove from oven but keep covered until ready to serve.
The Texas Gourmet