This recipe is a "technique-post": how to cook a flavorful, falling-off-the-bone tender and juicy goose, enriched with seductive sweet flavors of port and date syrup. And, with a nod to "cooking-without-waste", it also holds some tips on how to use innards and goose fat.
One young goose of 10-12 lbs
1 cup coarse chopped raw potato
1 cup (ciabatta/baguette) bread cubes
1 onion, chopped coarse
1 orange, peel and all, quartered
1 celery stalk, chopped coarse
1/3 cup raw cane sugar
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup date dhibs (syrup)
2 tbsp port
When you take the young goose from its wrapping, immediately you can feel its fat coating your hands. The trick is to remove as much excess fat as you can. While goose fat is fabulous to use in cooking, baking, and roasting, fat-riddled goose meat is not nice.
Start with the snow white "loose" fat. You'll find it near the cavity opening. You can literally scoop out chunks of white fat. I also take off excess fat skin, including the "fat flap" (on the neck-side).
Place all removed fat into a pan with a cup of water, and bring to a boil. Slowly simmer to melt the fat. Strain through a sieve and let cool off completely. The fat will separate from the liquid when cooled: scoop it off and keep in a container. This is your FIRST batch of rendered goose fat. The second batch comes from roasting: drain the fat from the roasting pan before the first basting. This fat will be less blond and more aromatic than the water-rendered fat. Both fats are perfect to use as you would butter or oil. Have you ever had potatoes roasted in goose fat? Talk about moreish! I used this goose fat it to make duck confit later that week.
Next, remove the innards (giblets) from the cavity but do not throw away (see below). Dry the cavity very well with kitchen towel. Brush the cavity with fresh lemon juice and rub with coarse salt. Make the roasting stuffing by tossing all coarse chopped stuffing ingredients together (orange, onion, potato, bread, celery, bayleaf). Put the stuffing in the cavity. The purpose of the stuffing is two-fold: it lends its aromatic flavors to the goose, and at the same time it soaks up fat as the goose cooks. It is not a stuffing you'll eat. Tie the legs together with kitchen string to close the cavity. Score the bird gently across its breast (it will ease the fat to drizzle out during roasting, and allow the skin to crisp up when roasting uncovered). Rub the goose all over with coarse salt.
The innards (neck, heart, stomach, and gizzards) will add flavor to the roasting juices. Clean the innards, and add to the roasting pan. The liver is delicious on its own: season with some seasalt and fresh ground black pepper, sear, and finished with a light brush of the basting syrup. This liver, by the way, may be the goose foie but definitely is not gras: no enlarged fat liver in these young geese.
Finally, the basting syrup is quick put together: dissolve raw cane sugar in melted butter, port wine and date syrup over a low simmer.
With all preparations done, the bird is now ready to go into the oven.
While much of the excess fat has been removed in previous steps, there is still plenty lodged in the goose' skin that needs to go. The following roasting method helps to slowly melt away the goose fat and cook the meat gently:
Preheat the oven to 160C (320 Fahrenheit)
Place the bird breast-side down on a rack in a roasting pan large enough to hold the bird generously. Cover with tinfoil and cook for 1.5 hours breast-side down, covered.
After 1.5 hours, take the goose out of the oven and turn to breast-side up. Cover again and roast another 1.5 hours breast-side up, covered. Drain off collected fat and keep (see The Fat above).
Take the bird out again and remove the tinfoil. The goose will now roast for another approx. 2 hours, uncovered. It is also time to start basting: brush the goose every 25-30 minutes with the date & port syrup (make sure to reserve 1 tablespoon of the basting syrup).
After a total of approximately 5 hours roasting time, the goose is done: its meat has drawn back from the leg bone, and juices running out are clear. Meat will be juicy and tender, and ready to eat after proper resting.
Wrap the goose loosely under foil to rest for at least one hour. In the meantime, take out the (now roasted) innards, strain the roasting pan juices and let stand to cool (the fat will rise to the top, which makes it easy to scoop it off - this fat you do not use again). Bring the roasting pan juices to a boil, add a tablespoon of the basting syrup, and reduce to thicken. Strain one more time.
|we had this beautiful tender, juicy goose meat with sweet potato souffle, cranberry compote, |
hearty kale, and reduced roasting jus
As for the innards: keep the heart (and toss the rest: neck, stomach and gizzards have served their purpose of adding flavor and meaty substance to the jus). The heart is delicious. Roasted and tender, it has a meaty flavor and texture that is reminiscent of bresaolo (recipe here).
A little "cooking without waste" recap:
apple, celery, chestnuts and roasted goose heart
- use all innards except the liver to give flavor and substance to the jus
- enjoy the liver on its own, seared and lightly brushed with the date and port syrup
- eat the roasted, tender heart sliced thin over a refreshing salad (recipe)
- use the goose fat as you would butter (for roasting potatoes, cooking steak, or completely different: to cook meat slowly in fat, also known as confit).