I do love goose.
Christmas Eve Dinner
- Bohemian Roast Goose (Feast)
- Perfect Roast Potatoes (How to Eat/Feast)
- Maple Roast Parsnips (Feast)
- Red Cabbage cooked in the Viennese Fashion (How to Eat)
As you can see from the photo, I really have gotten into the Christmas spirit. I even bought a tablecloth!! (This is a huge step for me, as I never do table decorations. I feel so grown up.) The napkins were made by my mother. I was just going to buy some, but all the offerings at the stores were either hideously expensive or just plain hideous. Mum bought some cheap red and gold cloth, cut it into squares and sewed the edges neat. Very nice!
So, goose. I love goose, and have been harbouring very fond memories of roast duck with dumplings and 2 types of cabbage, eaten at the Staroměstská Restaurace in Prague. I thought that Nigella's Bohemian roast goose recipe would approximate this wonderful dish. Her goose is stuffed with a mixture of sauerkraut, apple, sugar and caraway seeds, and then roasted. Summer weather is hardly appropriate for this type of food, but that has never stopped me before. And coincidentally, it happened to be very cold today - less than 20 degrees. Brr!
The last time I made goose, I used the "pour boiling water over the goose then dry it with a fan" method, which gives it super-crispy skin. Nigella says you don't necessarily need to do this, but I had enough time, and more importantly, enough fans to do it. (They were on sale for $20 at Target last week and it was very hot).
So once the goose is dried and stuffed, you can roast it, chucking some apples in for the last 45 minutes of cooking. Once it came out of the oven, I covered it in foil, and cooked the parboiled potatoes in the delicious goosefat. The parsnips were sliced into batons, parboiled, and baked in a separate tray with maple syrup and olive oil. The cabbage has to be cooked while this is all going on, as it takes 2 hours. It may sound like too much effort, but believe me, it is not. It is, in my opinion, the most delicious cabbage recipe ever! And I do love cabbage. The recipe basically consists of shredded red cabbage, red onion, brown sugar, an apple and some beef stock, cooked very slowly for 2 hours. At the end, you stir in a bit of cream and flour, and it's done. A-mazing.
Mmm... Dinner. Mum carved the goose, as I am a complete klutz with the carving knife.
The dinner table
Roast potatoes. They have a few black specks from being roasted in freshly rendered, unstrained goosefat, but they tasted brilliant. So crunchy!
The goose was a little bit dry, but the skin was delightfully crispy, and the sauerkraut filling was delicious! The dry meat wasn't totally a problem though, because the cabbage was quite moist, and the baked apples were very soft, more like an apple sauce. I think they looked quite pretty too - perhaps it would be a good idea to roast whole apples alongside, say, a roast pork instead of making an apple sauce.
I love the warm, Autumnal golden tones of this meal.
I hadn't planned a dessert, apart from fruit, but by the end of dinner we were all feeling like another piece of that chocolate fruit cake, which I served with a swiftly made custard. We'd eaten a few slices earlier in the day for afternoon tea, and thought that its super-dense fruity centre would be best served with a custard, as a pudding. Wonderful. I made too much custard for 5 people - 400ml of cream, 4 egg yolks and 4 heaped teaspoons of sugar. I don't think this is a problem though, because there is half of the chocolate fruit cake left, and cold custard is just heavenly.
It's not Christmas without mince pies and Walker's shortbread!
Sunday, December 24, 2006
12/24/2006 11:32:00 PM Sarah 8 comments