Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Christmas 2008: Goose
A fixed part of my pre-Christmas repertoire is a roast goose. It's so exotic for us Aussies, and I love the crispy skin, not to mention the amazing roast potatoes you can make with the goosefat. I've made goose stuffed with sauerkraut, with mashed potatoes, and this year I tried it with a mushroom stuffing from my Culinaria Germany book.
A Pre-Christmas Goose Feast for 5
Roast Goose with Baked Apples (How to Eat)
Mushroom Stuffing (Culinaria Germany)
Frangipane Mince Pies (How to be a Domestic Goddess)
I ordered my goose from John Cesters' Poultry in Prahran Market - ridiculously expensive, but it's only once a year. Last time, the geese were prepared; the head removed and the neck stored within the cavity, leaving the goose nice, neat-looking, and ready to roast. This year, however, the head and neck were still attached. It wasn't a big deal for me to chop the neck off, but at over $30 a kilo, I'd expect a bit more pre-preparation.
After beheading the goose, I did the usual hot water + fan crispy skin trick, and got on with the accompaniments.
First, the gravy. Fry the neck in a pan, add veggies, marsala, calvados and chicken stock, and simmer...
Mushroom stuffing - sliced mushrooms, bacon, parsley, paprika, pecans, egg, breadcrumbs...
I then stuffed the goose, and shoved it in the oven. While that was going on, I parboiled the potatoes for roast potatoes and finished the gravy. For some reason though, the gravy tasted feral - too sweet and with a weird aftertaste. Too much marsala and celery perhaps? Whatever, I turfed it.
Once the goose is out of the oven, you can roast the potatoes. They do take an hour to cook, but the goose stays scaldingly hot under a tent of foil. I love goosefat roast potatoes, and they're even tastier with freshly rendered goosefat. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Nigella's recipe is the best.
The other accompaniments, the red cabbage and baked apples, are pretty simple. Just score the apples and bake for 45 minutes, and heat the red cabbage (from a jar) on the stove. Without any gravy, the soft apple and red cabbage provided delicious sauciness.
The meat was tender and flavourful, but I was a bit disconcerted by the amount of feathers (hair?) still stuck in the skin. What's up with that?
More roast potato shots...
Goose is great to eat, but awkward to carve, as it is so bony. We just hacked it apart roughly, with a knife at first, and with our hands once we gave that up. It's not something my family should be eating in civilised company, hehe.
Oh, and on a side note, that mushroom stuffing was so disappointing! I have no idea why - all the ingredients seemed promising, but combined it just tasted muddy and weird. I'm sticking to plain sauerkraut or mashed potatoes from now on. Apart from that, though, the meal was lovely!
And, a Christmas necessity for me, mince pies for dessert! I made these myself, with a spoon of almond frangipane on top of the fruit mince. More detail to come in an upcoming post.
Merry Christmas everybody! Hope you all have a great day tomorrow!