We all want to make the main meal really special for our families and friends at Christmas so why not try a Goose? If you haven’t tried it before our Christmas goose guide has what you need to know for buying, cooking, recipes & tips.
Roast Christmas Goose with all the trimmings is one of the most traditional of festive meals. (It is only in the last century that Turkey has become so popular). Wonderful flavour, succulent meat, crispy skin makes a great choice plus all the Goose Fat that will keep you in amazing roast potatoes for several months!
Free range Christmas Goose
Our free-range Geese are supplied by Phil Truin. The Geese are reared from day olds in small batches in freshly strawed barns until they are robust enough to enjoy the meadows outside. They are then free to choose between their barns or spending time out in the fields depending on the weather. The birds receive attention every day to make sure they enjoy the highest animal welfare standards. These birds do not receive any hormones, growing supplements or chemical additives. When the Geese are fully mature the slaughter, dry-plucking and finishing is all done on site. These high welfare standards along with a traditional lifestyle ensure good eating, excellent flavour and texture.
Getting the right sized Christmas Goose
A free range Christmas Goose is a great choice as it will feed feed a large number of friends and family (and more as delicious cold cuts the next day).
Here is an approximate guide to how many people a goose will feed. Don’t forget it will vary depending on how generous your portions are and the appetite of your guests
4 kg will feed 4-5 people
4.5 kg will feed 4-6 people
5 kg will feed 5-6 people
5.5 kg will feed 6-7 people
6 kg will feed 8-9 people
A Goose is a large bird, so it worth checking your oven size and add to the check list – a large enough roasting dish.
Christmas Goose Preparation
When you collect your Goose from Morley Butchers it will boxed and oven ready so you just need to prepare it and plan your cooking schedule. (When you get your bird home keep it in a cool place or refrigerate.)
When You Are Ready To Cook Your Christmas Goose:
- Check the giblets and remove them. These are already separated from the bird and wrapped separately often inside the bird.
- Bring the bird up to room temperature. (Allow two hours)
- We recommend that you do not place stuffing in the main cavity as this will prevent hot air from circulating inside the bird which will slow the cooking time.
- Stuffing is best placed in the neck cavity or cooked separately. Use the liver in whatever stuffing you choose.
- Weigh the prepared bird to calculate cooking time – see below
Preparation Tips For Cooking Christmas Goose:
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6
- Place the goose on a rack over a large roasting tin and prick with a skewer or fork a few times down each side just below the wing. This will allow the fat to run out during cooking.
- Season your goose well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- For extra flavour add a quartered onion and some bay leaves inside the goose body cavity. The legs and wings should be covered with foil to prevent burning.
- Roast the goose for one hour, then take it out of the oven and put on a board. Carefully drain the fat from the roasting tin into a large heatproof bowl.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Cook the goose for another hour, removing the foil after 30 minutes so the legs can brown. (If your goose is very fatty, you may need to remove it from the oven and drain the fat one more time during the last hour of cooking.)
- To test when the goose is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer, then press the skewer against the leg and check the juices. If they are running clear then your Goose is cooked. If still pink put back in the oven for a further 15 minutes.
- Remove the goose from the oven and place on a warmed plate. Cover loosely with foil to keep it warm. Leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the liver and place to one side to be used in the stuffing. Put the rest of the giblets into a large saucepan. Add an onion, two carrots, a celery stick, two bay leaves, thyme and seasoning.
- Pour over 1 litre/1¾ pints water and bring to the boil then reduce the heat so the pan is just simmering for about 1 hour with the lid off which will concentrate the flavours as it reduces. Replace the lid for the last 30 minutes so that it doesn’t reduce too much.
- Add this stock to the juices from the roasting pan to make your gravy.
These will vary depending on your oven and your preference for well done or rare meat. These times below are slightly different to the recipe above but will work just as well.
For medium rare, cook the goose for 10 minutes at 240ºC/fan 220ºC/gas 9, then reduce the heat to 190ºC/fan 170ºC/gas 5 and cook for 20 minutes per kg.
For well-done give 32 minutes per kg.
How to carve your Goose:
Geese are quite narrow birds and the breast is long and shallow. The best tool for the job is a long and thin-bladed knife. Make sure it is sharp as it will make the task easier.Try and cut the slices at an angle almost 90 degrees to the breastbone. Start carving from the neck end. Detach the legs, then slice off the thigh meat.
If you you are looking to do something different this Christmas have a look here at some of the alternatives>>
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