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Traditional Roast Goose

Goose has since Medieval times been eaten at winter festivals and especially at Christmas time. Traditionally it was roasted on a spit over an open fire. Goose is often eaten stuffed with an onion and sage stuffing and accompanied with fruit like prunes, roast apples and figs, or a fruit sauce. The goose liver is often used in the stuffing.

Sage and Onion Stuffing
Roast Goose with Apples
Prune Sauce
Giblet gravy
Roast Potatoes

Sage and Onion Stuffing
225g (8oz) chopped onions
40g (1½oz) butter
3 level tablespoons of dried sage
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
75g (3oz) of breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional- the chopped goose liver

The best breadcrumbs can be made from two-day old white loaf. Remove the crusts and then grate or use a food processor. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the onions and cook until they are transparent, if you like include the chopped goose liver and fry with the onions until cooked. Then add the herbs, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper. Mix well and then set aside until ready to stuff the goose.

Traditional Roast Goose with Apples
(serves 8)

5.5kg (12lb) oven ready goose
1 lemon, halved
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion
1 carrot
1 celery stick
1.1 litres (2 pints) of water
8 medium cooking apples, cored
100g (4oz) cranberries
13g (¼oz) butter
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar

The goose should be thoroughly defrosted and left at room temperature for at least 3 hours before cooking. Remove the giblets (which include the liver) from the goose and set aside. Wash the bird thoroughly inside and out pat dry with a kitchen towel and remove any loose peices of fat. Then rub the lemon inside and out of the bird. Mix the salt and pepper and rub into the skin of the bird to season.

To make a giblet stock for the gravy, put the giblets in a pan with the chopped onion, carrot, celery and 1.1 litres (2 pints) of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about one hour. Strain and allow to cool until needed.

Preheat the oven to 220ºC (425F/Gas 7). Spoon the stuffing into the neck end of the goose and then tuck the neck flap over the stuffing and fasten either with a skewer or by sewing it. Then pack the stuffing into the tail end and then truss the bird with the wings folded under the body and legs tied together with string. Lightly prick the skin of the bird with a fork to allow the meat juices to be released in the cooking process. Place the goose breast side up on a rack in the roasting tin and into the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 180ºC (350F/Gas 4) and turn the bird breast side down and continue cooking for approximately 3 hours. Shape the remainder of the stuffing into balls and reserve for later.

In the meantime cut tiny slits into the skin of the cored apples. Then stuff the apples with the cranberries and place in a shallow baking dish. Dot the apples using half the butter, and sprinkle a tablespoon of the sugar over them. Leave aside until needed. About 1¼ hours before the end of the goose roasting time, you will will want to place your roast potatoes in the oven. About 30 minutes before the roasting time is up place the stuffing balls into the oven to cook and finally at about 20 minutes before the roasting time is over put the stuffed apples in to cook.

To test to see if the goose is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear it is ready, if not return to the oven for a little longer. Leave the goose to stand for about 20 minutes to rest which allows the flesh to firm up, making carving easier. Remember to save the pan juices for the gravy!

Roast Potatoes
(serves 8)

1.5kg (3lb) of baking potatoes
6 tablespoons of oil or you can use 50g (2oz) of Lard
Salt to taste

Peel and halve the potatoes and place in a saucepan to par-boil for about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and then carefully place in a roasting tin. Add the oil or lard and place on a direct heat until hot and the potatoes begin to sizzle. Then place in the oven to cook for approximately 1¼ hours until golden brown and crisp.

Giblet Gravy
(serves 8)

Pan juices from the cooked goose
2 tablespoons of plain flour
600ml (1 pint) of giblet stock (made earlier)
150ml (¼ pint) red wine
Salt and pepper

Drain off the excess fat from the pan juice in the roasting tin, leaving only the goose meat juices. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes, making sure there are no lumps!. Whisk in the stock gradually and then the red wine. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes, until slightly thickened and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Prune Sauce
350g (12oz) no-soak stoned prunes, chopped
1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
Grated rind and juice of ½ lemon
3 tablespoons of red wine
1 stick of cinnamon (about 5cm (2in) long)
Salt and pepper

Place the prunes, apple, lemon rind and juice with the cinnamon stick into a saucepan, add the wine and cook on a medium heat until the fruit is soft. Then remove the cinnamon stick and blend the sauce using a food processor or blender. Season to taste and set aside until needed. The sauce can be made a few days earlier and should be refrigerated. Gently reheat when ready to serve the meal.


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