Roast goose

Roast goose

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Serves
6

A goose is a festive bird traditionally eaten at Christmas, Michaelmas (29 September) or Martinmas (11 November).

A young roast goose makes succulent eating, although if there is any doubt about tenderness it is better to braise the bird in the same manner as duck. The meat is rich and goose releases quite a lot of fat during cooking, so roast goose is usually stuffed with a sharp sage-and-onion or fruit stuffing. Many cooks prefer to bake the stuffing separately with some of the fat that runs from the goose, and to place an apple and some aromatic vegetables or herbs inside the bird – these flavourings are not served with it.

A pliable breastbone is the sign of a young goose, and a good bird should have a plump breast and a creamy colour. As the bird has a large, bony frame, allow 500–700 g uncooked weight per serving. A 3.5 kg goose will serve 6; a 4.5 kg one will serve 8.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 young goose
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 apples, halved
1 onion, halved
3-4 fresh sage leaves
or 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons plain flour
60ml brandy

Method

  1. Remove excess fat from inside goose and press or cut oil sacs at base of tail to empty them. Wipe bird inside and out with a damp towel and rub inside and out with salt and pepper. Place apples, onion and sage in cavity; sew up opening or close with poultry pins laced with string.
  2. Truss goose: tuck wing tips under back, pull loose skin of neck to back and fasten these with small skewers. Tie ends of legs together with string, drawing them close to tail. Prick breast all over with a skewer and dry bird well.
  3. Brush a roasting tin with the oil and place over high heat. Dust goose with flour and place in tin, turning to sear all over. Warm brandy, set alight and pour over bird. (This adds flavour and also sears off any remaining pin feathers.)
  4. Place goose, breast side up, on a rack in the tin, cover loosely with foil and roast in a preheated moderate oven (180°C) for 25 minutes per 500 g or until juice runs clear when a fine skewer is inserted between top of leg and body. Remove fat with a spoon or bulb baster as it accumulates, and remove foil for last 30 minutes to give goose a good golden colour.
  5. For a crisp skin, increase heat to hot (220°C) 10 minutes before end of cooking time, and flick a little ice water over breast once or twice during this time. Leave goose on a heated platter in a warm place for 20 minutes before carving.

Note

  • The goose may be loosely stuffed with a mixture such as apple, prune and nut stuffing, or stuffing may be baked separately with some of the fat that runs from goose. Any leftover fat, lifted from the chilled pan juice, is delicious spread on bread or used for frying potatoes.
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