|Whole Goose||$10.00 per lb processed (about 5-7 lbs)|
|Whole Goose Deposit|
[/aside]We believe goose is the best-tasting meat. Yet, it seems to be the forgotten fowl in America. The most common objection we hear is that goose is too greasy. But you don’t have to eat all the grease any more than you eat all the excess fat on the best cuts of beef.
A traditional alternative to a Christmas turkey, goose is packed with flavour, with rich, densely-textured meat. Although it has a high fat content, most of this is under the skin, rather than in the meat, which means that, during cooking, it melts and bastes the breast, keeping it juicy.
Goose meat is just as versatile as beef, and the best way to cook it depends on the season. In the fall, the geese have not yet fattened up for winter. Their meat is lean and does not lend itself to roasting. You can cook the breasts like steaks, stir fries them, or even grinds them to fill casings and make Goose sausage. A winter bird, however, is fatter and is ideal for roasting. Enjoy a pulled-goose sandwich.
The first Christmas we were married, I roasted a goose (at Ed’s insistence!) even though I had never tasted it. I used a prune and apple stuffing to offset the richness and pricked the skin to release fat which could then be poured out of the pan. I have been an ardent goose fan ever since.
In Europe and Asia, geese have been highly valued for centuries. As far back as 4,000 years ago the Egyptians used goose liver to cure night blindness — and they were right, for scientists now know goose liver is exceptionally rich in Vitamin A because geese eat such large quantities of green grass.
My mom decided to slow-roast the goose upside down in red wine. The smell of the cooking meat was rich and fragrant, but when she pulled the bird from the oven, I still wasn’t convinced that eating the goose was a good idea….Then I took a bite. The meat was dark, and earthy too, but not greasy or gamey. It was delicious. The Goose made for a delicious meal and even our kids loved it. As for the debate about whether or not to eat the birds, I now wholeheartedly fall into the eat ’em camp.
Take the goose out of the fridge 1 hour before cooking, to make sure it’s room temperature. Remove the wrapping and the giblets, but don’t cut the trussing strings as they’ll help to maintain the goose’s shape while it’s cooking. Wipe the inside of the cavity with kitchen paper, then stuff, prick the breast with a fork and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
The giblets can be stored in a covered bowl in the fridge for up to 24 hours and can be used to make stock or gravy (apart from the liver, which is too bitter – use it to stuff the bird or fry it on its own).
Any excess white fat that you may find inside before you stuff the bird can be cut away and melted very slowly over a low heat (a process known as rendering), then cooled, strained and kept in the fridge for up to 6 months – it’s good for frying and roasting.
The fat that is produced when the bird is roasted will also keep in the fridge for 1 month, and can be used in the same way.
Keep the goose in the fridge, on a tray, covered with foil or greaseproof paper for up to two days. Make sure it’s on the bottom shelf, so that any juices don’t contaminate any other food; it’s particularly important to keep the goose away from any other cooked meats in the fridge.
Roast (weigh the bird after it’s stuffed, then allow 15 minutes per 500g, plus an extra 30 minutes) and serve with a sharp, fruit-based sauce such as apple or cherry.
Goose fat is the consistency of butter and has been used for hundreds of years to cook the world’s best tasting roast potatoes. It is also used to baste meat, flavour stuffings and to fry red cabbage, although given its high fat content, should be used sparingly and for special occasions. Keep it in the fridge and keep and eye on the use by date.