• capercaillie
  • ¼ lb pork fat
  • 2 spoons butter
  • 2 spoons vinegar
  • (½ glass sour cream)


Soak a cleaned capercaillie for 8–10 hours in vinegar boiled with spices. Lard the bird with ¼ lb pork fat and roast on a dripping pan, basting with 2 spoons butter. When the bird is almost done, pour on 2 spoons vinegar and turn it frequently. Baste the bird with the pan juices as they are released and, at the end, pour on sour cream. Cut up, arrange on a platter, and pour on the strained sauce. Serve with creamed beets, stewed potatoes, or fresh or marinated salad.

Tsar’s family at a picnic after a hunt. From Joseph Favre, Dictionnaire universel de cuisine pratique, vol. 3 (Paris, 1894).

If the capercaillie will be served cold, omit the sour cream.

To tenderize the bird, some people bury it in good earth in the garden for 24 hours.