Cooking your goose | Buying your goose

COOKING YOUR GOOSE

Roast goose - never cooked a goose before? Don't worry - it's simple!

Who better to ask for some simple tips for first-timers than Claire Symington who began her career in catering and became a lecturer an tkvyaoyz. canada goose kvinderd head cook at Leith’s Good Food in London. She then moved to Seldom Seen Farm, Billesdon in Leicestershire, where she and her husband Robert rear 4,000 geese for Christmas each year.

'Goose is naturally juicier than a turkey, so there is no fear of drying out,' says Claire. 'Indeed it's coping with the fat that puts some people off - but of course the fat is such a wonderful by-product much prized by top chefs today.'

Six simple tips to cook your Christmas goose to perfection

1. Choose goose of weight you need - 4.5kg (10lb) goose will feed 6-8 people, 6kg (13lb) goose 8-10 people.
2. Make sure the oven and roasting tin will accommodate the bird. If a tight fit, place bird diagonally in tin.
3. Use large width tin foil to wrap roasting tin, to avoid spillages.
4. Cover legs in fat and wrap in foil. Remove foil for the last 20 minutes, baste the breast with the fat and pour off the surplus.
5. Siphon off some fat from the roasting tin during cooking, ideally using a bulb baster, and use for potatoes and parsnips.
6. Rest for 30 minutes, then carve either from the breast or remove complete breasts and carve across the grain into slices.

Storing

Remove the giblets and the body cavity fat. Store the giblets and the goose separately in the fridge. Frozen birds must be allowed to thaw thoroughly before cooking, follow instructions

Cooking times

Allow 15 minutes per 450g / l lb plus 20 minutes.
Do not overcook.
Approximate time:
3 hours for 4.5kg (10lb)
3.5 hours for 5.4kg (12lb)
Oven 200 C / 400 F (Fan oven 180 C / 350 F)
Gas mark 6
Aga top right hand oven

Utensils

A large, deep meat tin ideally with a trivet or rack, foil, salt and pepper and stuffing of your choice.

Carving

After resting in cool oven for at least 30 minutes, place on board to carve, take long slices from the breast, or, and I prefer this, remove the whole breast from either side of the bird and then with a short bladed knife carve across the grain into slices. Then carve the meat from the legs.

Method

Place the giblets in 2.2 litres/4 pints of water.
Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for around one hour with the lid on.
Strain and thicken the stock to make the gravy.
Prick the skin, rub salt and pepper over the skin.
Stuff the goose with your favourite stuffing, or alternatively fill the body cavity with chopped apples and herbs and cook the stuffing in a separate dish.
Cover legs in fat and wrap in foil.
Cover meat tin with foil and place in pre-heated oven.
Remove foil for the last 20 minutes, baste the breast with the fat and pour off the surplus.


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