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Sharptail grouse, prairie flavors

To make this dish exactly as I did, you will need a vacuum-sealer and a sous vide machine -- two items that are totally worth it to own if you are a wild game cook, but which are not cheap. Don't give up if you don't have these, though, as I give you alternate directions below. Now, the substitutions: If you don't have sharptail grouse, use skinless duck breast, squab or pigeon breast, or dove breasts. If you can't get smoked salt, skip it. You can use apricot jelly in place of rose hip jelly Use cider vinegar in place of malt vinegar Use wheat berries, rye berries, barley or brown rice in place of the farro Skip the flowers if you can't find any, but remember that bean and pea flowers are just as good.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hank Shaw



  • 2 sharptail grouse or prairie chickens
  • 1 tablespoon smoked salt
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or other neutral oil


  • 1/4 cup rose hip jelly, or apricot jelly
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 1/2 cups farro or wheat berries
  • 1 quart stock or broth (any kind)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked salt
  • 1 teaspoon regular salt
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or other neutral oil
  • 4 green onions, white parts and green parts separated
  • 3/4 cup shelled, roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon malt vinegar
  • Onion or vetch flowers to garnish (optional)


  • Coat the grouse with the sunflower oil and sprinkle with the smoked salt. Seal in a vacuum bag and cook sous vide at 138 degrees for 30-50 minutes. If you are not cooking the grouse sous vide, wait to cook it until after the farro is done.
  • To make the gastrique, melt the jelly in a small pot over medium heat, then whisk in the vinegar and salt to combine. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  • Bring the stock to a boil, add both salts then the farro. Simmer this gently until the grains are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Drain the farro and discard any remaining stock, or use it in another recipe.
  • Heat the sunflower oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan and saute the white parts of the green onions for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the cooked farro and the sunflower seeds and toss to combine. Add salt to taste. Turn off the heat and cook your grouse if you are not cooking it sous vide.
  • To finish the grouse, take it out of the vacuum bag and let it rest a couple minutes, then slice it thin. Do the same if you've sauteed the breast. Bring the rose hip gastrique to a boil, turn off the heat and pour it over the grouse slices. Toss well and serve.
  • To finish the farro, turn the heat on to warm it through, then toss in the green parts of the onions and the malt vinegar and serve at once.