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We did mention goose, didn’t we? - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
We did mention goose, didn’t we?
Goose is an unctuous bird. It wants something to cut through it.
Now: you may treat your goose as a farmed slab of poultry, or as if it were game. Your choice is dictated by your stuffing and your sauce.
A rather fruity goose may be prepared as follows:
1 oven ready goose of 9 to 11 pounds, with giblets
½ oz butter
1 large onion, chopped or minced
1 lb no-soak prunes  
4 tablespoons port
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Ginger, to taste – very important
Dill weed and lemon zest as you like
4 oz fresh breadcrumbs
6 Cox’s Orange Pippins, each cored and cut into eight segments
½ pint of dry white wine or dry cider
Pre-heat oven to 200 °C / 400 °F / Gas 6. Prick the skin of the goose all over with a sharp skewer or fork and pull the inside fat out of the bird and reserve.

To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a large pan, add the onion and cook for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Separate the goose liver from the giblets and chop finely, then add to the onion and cook gently for 2-3 minutes. Remove the stones from half the prunes and discard. Chop the prunes roughly and stir into the onion with the port. Cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add the sage, ginger, dill-and-lemon, and breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly together.

Spoon the stuffing into the neck end of the goose, then truss with strong cotton or fine string. Weigh the bird. Put the bird on a wire rack placed in a roasting tin. Cover the breast with the reserved fat and then with foil. Roast for 15 minutes per pound plus 15 minutes, basting frequently.

Thirty minutes before the end of the cooking time, drain off the fat and discard. Add the apples to the tin with the remaining prunes. Add the wine. Place the bird on top, standing on the roasting rack. Remove the foil and fat and cook, uncovered, for the last 30 minutes.
Now, it is customary to serve this sort of goose with bread sauce:
2 cloves
1 medium onion, peeled
1 bay-leaf
¾ pint milk
3 oz fresh breadcrumbs  
½ oz Butter
2 tablespoons Single cream
Stick 2 cloves into the onion and put in a saucepan with the bay-leaf and milk. Bring slowly to the boil, remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes, then remove the bay-leaf and onion.

Add the breadcrumbs, return to the heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the butter and cream and serve immediately.
And applesauce:
1 lb cooking apples, peeled, cored & sliced
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons caster sugar
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch cinnamon
Dash ginger
Put the apples into a saucepan with the water and cook until soft and pulpy.

Either beat to a purée or rub through a sieve or liquidise. Return to the pan, add sugar, if used. Reheat gently. Serve hot or cold.
And of course this sort of goose also works beautifully with Cumberland sauce to accompany:
1 medium orange, zest and juice
1 medium lemon, zest and juice
4 tablespoon redcurrant jelly
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoon Port
Pinch ground ginger
Cover the orange and lemon zest with water, simmer for 5 minutes and drain.

Place the orange and lemon juices, redcurrant jelly and mustard in a pan and heat gently, stirring continuously, until the jelly has melted. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the port and ginger if using.

Serve hot in a jug or sauce boat.
You may however wish to stuff your goose with your own modification of the stuffing given above, including in it rowanberries or redcurrants or cranberries, mixed with 2 oz softened butter, salt, pepper, and then with the juice of one lemon added. The fruitier your stuffing, the more you want Cumberland sauce and applesauce rather than bread sauce.
An alternative is to stuff with a parsely and lemon stuffing, which you may scale up to the size of your bird:
1 oz butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
8 oz fresh breadcrumbs  
4 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 lemons, zest only
1 egg, beaten
Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onions and celery, cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add the breadcrumbs, parsley and lemon zest. Stir in the egg.
And there’s always sage-and-onion stuffing:
8 oz onions, quartered
3½ oz fresh breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon dried sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 oz butter, melted  
Cook the onions in boiling water until tender. Drain and chop finely.

Mix with breadcrumbs, sage and seasoning.

Bind loosely with melted butter and milk. Use as required.
Now: if you like your birds plainly roasted and stuffed, what you want with that then is a gravy or sauce that isn’t so damned fruity. Americans use something vy like this with their turkeys; but Mrs Beeton is my authority.
Reserve a portion of the goose liver from the original recipe above, yes, that’s right, the vy first one. Pan fry it and three or four chicken livers in butter. Reserve the pan- scraps and drippings. Slice the cooked liver. Have two or three cold, sliced hardboiled eggs ready. Heat a béchamel sauce or white sauce (from chicken stock) and stir in 2 oz butter, the scraps and dripping, and the sliced cooked liver, and heat through – and there you have it. Superb on the mash as well as the bird, I may add.

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8 comments or Leave a comment
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: October 21st, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Way Too Much Work

for my ungrateful family. Ham it shall be.

Sounds good, though. Is there a restaurant in NYC you'd recommend?

Edited at 2011-10-21 07:59 pm (UTC)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 21st, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ham IS a doddle.

And I've no idea where to eat in New York.
tiferet From: tiferet Date: October 21st, 2011 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)


OMG Goose.

Fruity goose sounds really good right about now. Thanks!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 21st, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Do enjoy it.

Good stuff.
leni_jess From: leni_jess Date: October 21st, 2011 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have neither the patience nor the anticipated guests for this (come to think, I'm unlikely to be able to lay hands on the goose, either), but I have very much enjoyed reading your Christmas cooking posts (and salivating, and remembering some good Christmases in London, many years ago - like the time we broke all the sieves in the building making chestnut stuffing). Thanks!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 22nd, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

I like chestnut stuffing.

And the ham recipe at least is scaleable.
leni_jess From: leni_jess Date: October 22nd, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I like chestnut stuffing.

The chestnut stuffing was lovely, when we got to it. That was a memorable Christmas: good friends for guests, a duck as well as a goose, loads of Asti, excellent veg... (And we ate about midnight, because we'd ordered a brace of pheasant - the butcher supplied them in season and out, so no doubt he had a good line on poachers - but he forgot that order, so to compensate gave us, on Christmas Eve, a still-frozen duck of enormous size. No microwaves to defrost in those days, even if it would have worked on a 12 lb or so bird - or if the bird would have gone in.)

I think perhaps we didn't cook the chestnuts long enough, hence the destruction of at least four sieves. But still long enough to taste yummy.

Yes, I am thinking about the ham recipe, but perhaps for a winter celebration. We tend to go for a seafood Christmas these days, to avoid heat stroke.

Edited at 2011-10-22 08:25 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: October 22nd, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

I have.

Generally in casserole. I find it roasts less well than does, say, grouse.
8 comments or Leave a comment