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HOW TO COOK A GOOSE



BUYING YOUR GOOSE


Fresh, free-range geese are now considered a seasonal product.
Fresh geese should be ordered well in advance, or are available freshly frozen most of the year round.
Geese are sold either oven-ready - which includes the weight of the giblets - or long-legged, which is the total weight of the bird before evisceration.
Oven ready weights range from 4.1kg/9lb to 8.1kg/18lb and long-legged from 5.4kg/12lb to 9kg/20lb.

Allow approximately one to one and a half pounds of goose per person, depending on appetite.
When you get your goose home, remove the giblets and store them, and the goose, separately in the refrigerator.
A frozen bird must be allowed to thaw thoroughly before cooking, allow a minimum of 24 hours.
Check the weight of the giblets and fat before you stuff your goose, then you will have the correct weight of the bird and can work out how much cooking time it will need.

PREPARING AND COOKING THE GOOSE


What you need:
A large, deep, meat tin with a trivet or rack if possible, but not essential, foil, salt and pepper and a stuffing of your choice.

Step by Step Guide:
  • Cook the giblets in at least 2.2 to 3.4 litres / 4 to 6 pints of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 to 3 hours then strain and thicken the stock to make the gravy.
  • For the goose allow 15 minutes per 0.45kg/1lb plus 20 minutes eg: approximately 3 hours (4.5kg/10lb goose) to 3.5 hours (5.4kg/12lb goose). Do not over cook.
  • Stuff the goose with your favourite stuffing, or as an alternative fill the body cavity with leek tops and chopped apple and cook the stuffing separately in a dish.
  • Set the oven at 200oC/180oC fan or Gas Mark 6.
  • Prick the skin and rub salt and pepper over it, then brush with cooking oil or butter.
  • Cover the legs with spare fat taken from inside the goose.
  • Line the meat tin with foil so you can make a parcel of the goose.
  • Place the goose on a trivet or rack in the meat tin, breast side up. If a trivet is not available, place the goose on the foil in the tin.
  • Wrap the goose in the foil, making sure there is double protection over the legs as it is important not to burn them.
  • Place the goose in the oven.
  • After the first hour baste the goose and make sure the legs are still covered and that the skin is not burning. For the last half to three quarters of an hour of cooking uncover the breast to brown, and baste again.
  • Lift the goose onto a carving dish to rest for approximately 20 minutes before carving. Keep covered.
  • The fat which has collected in the tin is excellent for roasting potatoes or basting other meats. Low in saturates and high in poly- and mono- unsatures, it can be stored in the deep freeze and be used to make top quality pastry.

  • CARVING AND SERVING


    First sever the legs at the thigh joints (they are well under the back) and set aside.
    Next make an incision down the middle of the breast bone from end to end, then cut 6mm/ 1/4inch thick slices on one side of the breast and then on the other, reversing the bird for the second side. It is important to angle the blade of the knife at 90 degrees to the breast bone.
    Meat may be sliced from the legs to go with each slice of breast and also from the wings and fillets after detatching them from the carcass.

    ACCOMPANIMENTS


    Goose is particularly good when served with apple or gooseberry sauce and a fruity stuffing.

    Gooseberry Sauce
  • Simmer 250g/8oz cooking gooseberries in a little water until soft.
  • Push through a sieve and beat with 25g/1oz butter and 25g/1oz suger into a puree.

  • Prune and Chestnut Stuffing
  • 1/2kg/1lb prunes, pitted
  • 220g/8oz port
  • 1kg/2lb fresh chestnuts
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • Soak the prunes for one hour in the port. Meanwhile prepare the chestnuts. Make a slit in the top of each one with a sharp knife. Put them in boiling water and simmer for ten minutes.
    Remove a few at a time with a slotted spoon. Wearing clean rubber gloves to protect ytour fingers, slip off the outer and inner skins.

    Place the chestnuts in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook without browning until the onion has softened. Add the chestnuts and prunes with the port they have been soaking in and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Stir in the parsley, season with salt and pepper, and stuff the mixture into the goose cavity. Sew up the cavity.

    MARINADED GOOSE


    Marinaded Goose - an old-fashioned Swedidh recipe which can also be used for duck or chicken, using a smaller quantity of the marinade.
    For the marinade:
  • 3.4litres/6pints of cold water
  • 450kg/1lb salt
  • 125kg/4.5oz caster sugar

  • Stand the oven-ready goose in the marinade for three days. Use a non-metal container for this.
    To cook, remove the goose from the marinade and pat dry. Put the bird in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, skim and add white peppercorns, three or four bay leaves and three onions, sliced. Cook slowly until tender.
    Leave the goose to cool in liquid before carving - it should serve eight to ten people.
    In Sweden marinaded goose would be served with a tradional sauce of apple puree mixed with some mayonnaise and whipped cream and flavoured with freshly grated horseradish.

    GOOSE RISOTTO


    Goose Risotto - using leftover goose meat (serves 4)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3tbsp melted goose fat or olive oil
  • 400g/14oz risotto rice (Tilda Aborio)
  • 1 litre/2.75pints hot goose stock made from the carcass or homemade chicken stock
  • 225g/8oz sliced goose meat
  • salt and pepper
  • 50-100g/2-4oz grated parmesan to finish
  • 25g/1oz butter

  • In a large pan gently fry the onion and garlic in the melted goose fat until golden. Add the rice and stir and fry it all over until shiny and translucent.
    Meanwhile bring the stock to the boil in another saucepan then add a little at a time to the rice.
    Stir each addition of stock into the rice and wait for it to become absorbed before adding more.
    Continue until the rice is cooked - about 25 minutes.
    Season well and add the goose meat, sliced or diced.
    Cover with a lid and rest for 3-5 minutes off the heat. Just before serving stir in the butter and sprinkle with parmesan.