Thursday, 29 December 2011

Christmas How To... Roast a Goose

Both turkeys and geese have featured as traditional British Christmas fare, at least for those who could afford to eat them, for about 500 years. I'm not a big fan of the turkey myself, I mean, it's ok but it's not quite delicious enough for me to consider it an amazing treat. It's the goose that makes me dribble in anticipation, and so it's the goose I prefer to cook for our feast.

Unlike turkeys, which really do require brining and all the other associated work to ensure their moistness, goose is easy to prepare as it requires so little fussing. I ordered a "small" goose. Hahaha. Small means around 13 lbs /  5.5 kgs and would happily have fed six or more hungry guests, even without an extravagant number of side dishes.

For the perfect roast goose, here's what you need to do:

  • Leave your goose out to come up to room temperature for a couple of hours.
  • Pop her in a big baking tray on top of a trivet and preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  • Trim off any excess fat and put to one side (for your roasties).
  • Use a fork to prick the skin all over.
  • Dribble a tiny amount of olive oil over the skin, sprinkle salt over and then massage in with your hands.
  • Tightly wrap the legs with tin foil.
  • Loosely wrap the whole bird with tin foil.
  • Bung her in the oven for 15 mins per lb (450g) + a further 15 mins. Drain off some or all of the fat about halfway through, and take the main peice of foil off for the last 15-30 minutes.
  • Take her out of the oven and leave to rest, covered in foil, for at least half an hour and preferably for a full hour (though not longer) before taking to the table as a glorious centerpeice.
  • Make the gravy.

A final tip: after the christmas meal get someone to remove all the meat from the carcass and store this in a shallow dish with the leftover gravy, topped up with stock if needed. Overnight the juices keep the goose really moist, giving you the best bubble and squeak the next day.

Go to the Christmas Dinner (2011) post

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