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Christmas Goose

How to Cook a Goose

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I’m a sucker for a feast and while we don’t celebrate Christmas we do have a big mid-winter meal. I love nothing more than a goose and look forward to our annual indulgence. I’ll show you how to cook a goose without tying yourself in knots in the process.

Cooking goose is pretty simple when you know what you’re doing. It takes a little more care than a chicken but not a great deal more. One of the huge benefits of cooking a goose for Christmas is the incredible roast potatoes the goose fat produces. Sure you can buy it in a jar but it’s hard to beat the fat coming from the bird itself.

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If you haven’t tried goose before you are in for a real treat. The meat is rich and  delicious. It has more texture than you would expect with poultry, closer to duck for sure.

It stands up well to a lovely sour cranberry sauce (try my cranberry and rhubarb sauce) and is melting alongside a Jerusalem artichoke gratin or dauphinoise potatoes. We always have ours with sage and onion stuffing, lashings of crunchy veg and roast potatoes cooked in the goose fat.

However you serve it make sure you save a little to whip up a goose biryani on Boxing Day – really worth it!

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If you have a roasting tin with a rack so much the better. If you don’t you can improvise one or set the goose on the top shelf above a roasting tin – just make sure you give the shelf a good wash afterwards.

I make a vegetable stock or if I have the time Jamie Oliver’s Get Ahead Gravy (humana humana) and then use this to deglaze the roasting pan so all the scrummy juices from the bird enrich the gravy.

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When it comes to buying your goose the average size is around 4.5kg or 10lb – 6kg or 13lb. It will serve from 8 – 10 people comfortably. For the cooking time I use the equation of 25 minutes per kilogram plus twenty minute

For example: 4.5 x 25 +20 = 132 minutes / 2 hours 12 minutes 

As well as your cooking time you’ll want to give it time to rest afterwards so for the example above I would put the goose in the oven three hours before I wanted the food to be on the table.

If you’re trying goose for the first time I know you’re going to be so thrilled with the results. Cooking it isn’t going to be difficult so relax and think about the amazing meal ahead of you.

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Roast Goose Recipe

Free range goose (approx 4.5kg) at room temperature

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

Heat the oven to 220°C

  • Firstly reach inside the goose and pull out any big blobs of fat you find inside. Set them to one side to melt down later – it will keep in a jar and give you amazing roasties for weeks.
  • Prick the skin concentrating on the area under the wings and other places where you can see the white fat beneath the skin.
  • Rub olive oil over the outside of the goose and then season it with salt and pepper.
  • Place it on the rack in the roasting tray and put it in the oven.
  • After twenty minutes turn the oven down to 180°C, remove the goose and drain the fat from the roasting tin and set it to one side.
  • Roast for the remaining time, 2 hours for a 4.5kg bird, at 180°C pouring off the fat one or two times further. If the skin begins to get dark you may want to put a tinfoil tent over the roasting tray.
  • When your goose is ready prep a wooden board and a long section of baking parchment. Lift the goose onto the paper stopping to tip any juices out of the cavity. Wrap the parchment around the bird and cover with a tea towel to rest. Rather than wrapping in tin foil which will continue cooking the bird this will keep it warm and allow the meat to relax.
  • Pour off any remaining fat in the roasting tin and then set it on the hob. Add your stock to the pan and let it cook for a moment before rubbing the base of the pan with a wooden spoon. Thicken with either plain flour or corn flour mixed into cold water.
  • When it comes to carving the goose I like to remove the whole breast and then slice it across the grain before serving along with the legs whole.

If you’re cooking your goose with this recipe be sure to tag me on Instagram and Twitter so I can see it. I’m @thatkat. Enjoy!

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