The time has come for me to post about the main attraction of my Christmas dinner menu, the roast goose. I have cooked goose before and found it a very easy bird to cook, and a tasty bird to eat. It also has the added bonus of it providing goose fat suitable for your roast potatoes and vegetables as a by-product of the roasting process (jars of which cost £2-3 in the shops, if you can find it).
I couldn’t remember how I cooked it so I set about researching cooking methods/times and that’s where I got confused and indecisive, some quick roast for 2-3 hours, others slow-roast the bird for 5-6 hours. You can serve goose pink, though undercooked poultry doesn’t go down well in our house, but I didn’t want it hogging the oven all day, I needed to bake my Chocolate Yule Log after all! So I did what I usually do in times of culinary crisis, I turned to Mary Berry. She may not be as hyped as Delia (I don’t own a Delia book but I have it on good authority that the results from following her recipes can be a bit hit and miss) or as busty as Nigella (whose recipes I like but cringe when watching, so I don’t), but in my mind she is the best cookery writer around, and her books taught me a lot about food and how to cook. It’s not just her baking either, her savoury dishes always turn out great. If you want an easy family supper, or an impressive but uncomplicated dinner party dish find a Mary Berry book. So I got out the Complete Cookbook and headed to the poultry section and there it was Christmas Roast Goose, which gives a recipe for the goose, gravy and pork & apple stuffing. I didn’t follow her gravy recipe, and I was making my own stuffing, it was mainly roasting method and times for the bird I was interested in rather than the recipe, which worked out at about 4 hours for my bird (though I did adjust the times slightly), I knew the bird would be cooked through but wouldn’t spend all day in the oven.
I got a 10lb goose which gave about 10 portions, though that was with stripping the carcass well, there’s lots of meat underneath.
For a gravy recipe to accompany this see my Homemade Goose Gravy post.
Whole goose with neck & giblets – 10lbs/4.5kg
Onion – 1 large (peeled & quartered)
Garlic – 6 cloves (peeled & halved)
Bay leaves – 2 (Mary uses fresh sage but I didn’t have any)
Dried tarragon – 1 tablespoon
Seasoning – celery salt and pepper
Equipment: Roasting tray with wire rack/trivet, poultry shears, sharp knife, a sharp fork (I use an old fondu skewer), tin foil
- Remove the neck and bag of giblets from the cavity and retain for the gravy (recipe to come).
- Remove any excess fat from the cavity, you can discard this or render in down for use later.
- Remove the end third of the wings at joint with poultry shears or a sharp knife.
- Prick the skin all over, I lightly score the underside of the bird with a sharp knife, this helps the fat to render off.
- Season all over with the celery salt and pepper.
- Put the onion, garlic, bay leaves, and tarragon into the cavity.
- Place the bird breast-side down on the trivet and cook in a preheated oven (220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7) for 30 minutes.
- Remove the bird from the oven, at this point I pour off the fat into a bowl, reserving for the roast potatoes.
- Turn the goose breast side up, cover with foil, and place back in the oven. This is where I differed from Mary’s method, she doesn’t use foil and keeps the oven on the higher temperature for another 20 minutes before turning it down to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4, then calculating the cooking time at 20 minutes per lb/450g. My oven stays hot for a while and I knew I’d be turning it up near the end of the cooking time for the roasties so I just turned it down straight away and omitting the extra 20 minutes.
- Halfway through cooking you may need to pour off more excess fat.
- Remove the foil 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
- Leave to rest in a warm place covered lightly with foil for 20 minutes before serving.