Not much gardening is happening in the Willis household at present, but things have to be very serious indeed for the cooking to stop. I'm feeling very "under the weather" still (probably at least exacerbated by the cumulative fatigue of repeated journeys up to London), and yesterday all I was able to do was take some photos of the lovely meal that Jane made. It was Roast Goose with Red Cabbage, Potato and Celeriac mash, and Peas:
About this time every year we buy a couple of Goose crowns from Lidl. This is a supermarket that we are beginning to explore more. It is not the sort of place where we would normally go for our everyday grocery requirements, and they don't seem to worry much about presentation or stock-control, but when you look closely you see that they do have some very nice things - such as the Goose crowns (only available in Nov / Dec though), Reindeer steaks, Partridge etc. They also sell some excellent tinned soups that we often buy, and some very nice cold meats and smoked ham.
Cooking a crown takes a lot less time than cooking a whole bird. Jane cooked the Goose according to the instructions on the packaging, which involve searing it skin-side down in a frying-pan to brown the skin, before roasting it skin-side up in the oven for about 45 -50 minutes to cook it through. The whole cooking sequence takes about an hour - plus resting-time.
Anyway, one of those Goose crowns provides enough meat for 2 - 4 people, depending on how generous your portions are.
We normally use most of one between the two of us, with perhaps a third left over. As you can see in the photo above, Goose meat is dark - like the brown meat on a Turkey. It is not gamey either, as some people might think. In my opinion it is a bit like a drier version of Duck.
Cooking the Red Cabbage took much longer than cooking the Goose - long and slow in a low oven. Jane added lots of onions and apples and red wine vinegar to make it even more "unctuous". It comes out soft and both sweet and savoury at the same time.
The meal was balanced-out with the addition of some lovely fluffy Potato-and-Celeriac mash with a generous knob of butter stirred in and some frozen Peas. The latter was a last-minute addition, but a good one I think, because the Peas gave the dish more visual appeal as well as adding another sweet note. Oh, and let's not forget the gravy! Jane is the world's greatest expert on gravy-making. She used some of the cooking juices to produce a wonderful dark, glossy gravy which complemented the meat perfectly. I should add that the fat which came out of the joint was kept for another occasion - probably for when potatoes are to be roasted!
And for afterwards? Cheese and biscuits: a French cheese called Chaource (soft and creamy; spreadable), Somerset butter with Maldon salt crystals, and home-made Rosemary crackers. And a glass of Port! Does that sound OK?