Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Roast Goose

Goose is not a popular meat in the UK these days. Three or four generations ago the goose was the most popular bird for the Christmas feast, but it has been completely superseded by the turkey. Some people, like us, do like to eat goose occasionally, but it is not easy to find. However we have discovered that you can buy goose crowns (i.e. only the breast part of the bird) in the Lidl supermarket at this time of year. I think they only get then in during December and I have not seen them at other times of the year.


Goose meat is much darker and gamier than turkey - it has texture rather like duck, and taste more akin to Pheasant. Its skin is one of the most attractive features too; you can get it to go crispy like that of a duck. And do I have to explain about goose fat, and how good that is for roasting potatoes...?

Like most of the UK population, we will be eating turkey on Christmas Day, so this past weekend we decided to have a goose crown just for the two of us. (Actually one of those crowns would easily feed four. We certainly couldn't finish it all.). So this is how it's done:-

First step: brown the skin of the goose crown in a large pan with about a tablespoon of oil. Although the goose skin is very fatty, if you try to brown it without any oil at all it may scorch, so don't risk it.


At this stage you only need a little colour on the skin. I does not need to be golden.


Then you put the pan into the oven at 180C (fan oven) or 200C (ordinary oven) for 50 minutes. When it comes out, the skin should be uniformly golden and there should be lots of fat in the pan - save it for cooking potatoes in next day!


Leave the goose to stand for at least 10 minutes before carving. This will allow it to relax and re-absorb some of the juice.


When carving a bird I try to remove each breast more-or-less whole, and then cut it into transverse sections.


You can see in the next photo how succulent the goose meat is, kept moist by the thick layer of fat beneath the skin. If you don't want to eat the fat it's easy enough to cut if off, but I like to eat it because it has the best taste of all!


I found it difficult to get good photos of this meal for two reasons: A) I was in too much of a hurry because it looked so appetising and I wanted to get on and eat it, and B) it gave off such a lot of steam that my camera had difficulty focussing on anything else. This is why all the photos you see in recipe books must surely be of cold or cooled food...

This is my plateful just before I started eating. Apart from the goose, it includes the following: roast potatoes, steamed leeks, glazed turnips, (home-grown)Brussels Sprouts, gravy, and apple-and-orange compote:


That's my favourite type of meal: good-quality ingredients cooked in an uncomplicated way. YUM!

P.S. I should perhaps say that it was not me that made this meal, but Jane. These days, whenever I'm at home our meals tend to be a joint effort - even if my part is only to prepare the veg, carve the meat, open the wine and take the photos! I'm learning fast though...

17 comments:

  1. I've never had goose, nor duck or pheasant which you also mention. My family prefer turkey or chicken breast rather than the dark meat on the legs, and you mention that goose is darker than turkey, so perhaps it isn't for them. I'd love to try it though, your meal looks absolutely delish.

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  2. Looks very appetising. A tip Mark switch the lens to manual focus, for difficult to autofocus subjects it`s what the pros will do. You should`n have trouble manual focussing through the viewfinder.I use manual focus quite a lot as it saves the lens hunting back and forth as it can do at times on autofocus

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  3. Mmmm I love goose, with the crowd I will be cooking for at Christmas it will have to be turkey.

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  4. I've never eaten goose but to be honest I find anything fatty hard to stomach. Maybe because we don't eat much fat.

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  5. Oh NO! I can't look, our geese are pets.
    But I sure love geese meat. mmmm yum
    Love Leanne

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  6. I have only cooked goose once for Christmas dinner and although it cost the earth it was worth it you didn't mention pricking the skin - did you not bother with this?

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    1. Elaine, I think pricking the skin is only important if the fat has nowhere to escape, but with a crown this is not a problem. Lots of fat came out anyway. Guess what we will be cooking out Christmas Day potatoes in?

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  7. I've never had goose. It looks delicious. Do you do all the cooking Mark?

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    1. Erin; No, because I am out at work most days, Jane does most of the cooking. It's just that when I cook I like to write about it because it is special for me.

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  8. my mouth is quite literally watering at the thought of all that succulent breast (ooh err missus) I had goose for Christmas about 3 years ago and it was an epic failure... I really disliked it and there was very little actual meat on the bird... the breast crown idea is a great one and I love the way you've prepped it. I shall be giving this a go!

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  9. I used to have goose occasionally when I was growing up, but my mom raised one for just that purpose (and a turkey for Thanksgiving). I never really liked goose all that much. I do like duck.

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  10. Looks very appetizing and the plate looks great. I laughed about the steam. I often use a small fan or even (gasp) blow across the plate to clear it for a quick shot.

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  11. It's a good job I've just eaten Mark, otherwise I'd be out there searching for a goose! It looks delicious especially with that crispy skin ;D
    I love to use duck fat on my roasted tatties and my son always knows when I do. I don't think you can beat it.
    I'm also pleased that you gave credit where it was due for the meal...to the cook.
    My hubby is just venturing into the cooking department, but he's always helped with the prep and cleaning up. ('My Johnny' if you can remember him...someone told me about him because I'm far too young to rmemember!)

    Have a fantastic Christmas and all the best to you and yours :D

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  12. It has been a long time since I have had a Christmas goose dinner my father would prepare it for the family when I was a child. Good times great food hmmm maybe my Standing Rib Roast might have to be put off until new years...Looks super yummy great idea...

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  13. I don't think I've ever eaten goose. The dinner plated up looks like the perfect meal. You and Jane could probably run a restaurant!

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  14. Oh wow! Thank you so much for your quick and easy recipe! I've been panicking about cooking this blimin Goose for ages and have only just now found your blog All other recipe's are fiddly and include more ingredients! Im cooking Goose Crown and Turkey this year and its my first time doing Christmas dinner! Wish me luck, ill let you know how I get on! Thanks

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    1. Hope it works well for you, Louise! Don't forget to keep the extra fat for cooking roast potatoes in. Happy Christmas!

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