Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Grouse Schnitzel with Red Cabbage and Green Apples

One of the first open hunting seasons that brings hunters into the outdoors in Montana is Upland Bird season, opening September 1. I adore walking the hillsides of western Montana with my trusty 20 gauge Browning BPS shotgun and a vest full of Mountain Grouse (aka. Ruffed Grouse). Just hearing those birds take off in flight...thump, thump, thump...gets my juices flowing!

The other thing that gets juicy is this dish of Grouse Schnitzel with Red Cabbage and Green Apples. Many of you know I fully embrace my German heritage, and with Oktoberfest just around the corner, it's time to perfect your German-inspired menus.

Traditionally, schnitzel is an Austrian dish and prepared with veal or pork. This dish is also great with venison backstrap, pounded thin and cut into 1/2-inch-thick cutlets. But the richness of the grouse makes this dish for me. Enjoy and Prost!

Grouse Schnitzel with Red Cabbage and Green Apples
1/4 c. flour 
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. onion salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. dry bread crumbs, fine
4 medium-sized Grouse breasts, cut into strips
8 Tbls. butter
2 c. water
1 piece of smoked bacon, diced
1 head of cabbage, small and shredded
1 medium onion, diced
2 green apples, preferably Granny Smith, diced with peel on 
2 Tbls. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 c. apple juice
5 Tbls. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds

Mix flour, smoked paprika, celery salt and onion salt in a bowl and set aside. Arrange the bowl of beaten eggs between the bowl of flour and a plate of bread crumbs. Dredge the strips of grouse in flour first, then the eggs and lastly in the bread crumbs. 

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the grouse on both sides. Then reduce heat, add water and cover. Simmer the meat for at least 30 minutes until tender.

While the grouse is cooking, brown the bacon pieces in a large pot over medium-high heat. Then add cabbage, onion and apples. Stir and saute for about 5 minutes. 

Add the remaining ingredients to this large pot (except for the meat), reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. 

To serve, dish out a bed of the red cabbage and apple mixture, then place strips of the grouse schnitzel on top. Ladle the "gravy" from the schnitzel pan on top of everything. I recommend serving with a side of cooked asparagus, topped with your favorite nuts. Serves four.