How to Roast A Christmas Goose
Geese are considered the ‘chefs choice’ when it comes to Christmas lunch because of their rich flavour and succulent meat. Saskia Beer shares her tips for cooking goose as well as her favourite festive recipe. Don’t worry if you prefer a classic roast turkey, Saskia has also included her no-fail Quick Cook Corn fed Turkey recipe.
Traditionally, a roast goose was the centerpiece of the Victorian and EdwardianChristmas dinner table. Unfortunately for geese farmers, the bird went out of fashion in the 1960s when turkey rose to popularity. Today, geese are experiencing a resurgence as cooks embrace the tradition of serving the classic Christmas dish.
No one is more passionate about the benefits of eating geese than producer Saskia Beer. On her Barossa property Saskia has been producing premium game birds, chickens and turkeys since 1996. Saskia says that eating goose at Christmas is an important part of their family tradition. Mum (Maggie beer) always does a goose on Christmas day and we are always to full to eat it, so we serve it cold on Boxing Day and have goose and stuffing sandwiches its the best!
Perceived as being tricky to cook, geese are still a relatively undervalued bird in Australia, but Saskia is hoping to change that with her straightforward recipe (see below). A common mistake people make is to overcook goose and turkey believing that they take a long time to cook they dont! If you overcook turkey or goose they will be dry and unpalatable, explains Saskia. Geese like ducks are red-meat birds so the breasts need to be served medium rare, which is 70-80 C if using a thermometer.
Geese are a fatty bird, which is what gives the meat such a delicious and succulent flavour. Saskias recipe cooks the goose in an oven bag, which makes dealing with the excess fat easy. The fat can then be used to cook the most sublime roast potatoes or used to confit meat or vegetables.
Whether you decide to go for goose or a classic roast turkey this Christmas, choosing a quality bird will make a big difference in terms of flavour. Saskias geese and turkeys are considered the best in Australia and are completely free range, and have access to grazing yards and fed home grown grains. The result is birds with juicy, plump meat and excellent breast and leg development.
Due to Saskias small-scale production and low stocking densities there are only a limited number of turkeys and geese available. To avoid missing out order now on Farmhouse and your bird will be delivered in early December.
Slow roasted Goose with Prosciutto & Sage stuffing
1 x 4-5kg Free range Goose
2 x onion diced
2 x stalks celery, diced
100g Black Pig Prosciutto,diced
50g fresh sage, finely chopped
20g fresh thyme, finely chopped
15g rosemary, finely chopped
30g parsley, finely chopped
200g chicken livers (optional)
150 g butter
500g bread crumbs
Sea salt/Murray Salt and pepper
1.If using, trim the chicken livers of any excess sinew and make sure that any trace of gall bladder is removed. Slice thinly.
2. In a pan gently heat some of your butter with a little olive oil. Season the livers lightly with salt and pepper. Sautee very quickly, just enough to seal them slightly not cook them totally. Put them aside on a flat plate to cool.
3.Gently cook your chopped onion in the butter until translucent and slightly caramelised. Add the diced celery and bacon and cook for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add garlic and cook for a further minute, add the bread crumbs and finely chopped herbs. Mix all of the ingredients together and stuff into the cavity of the goose.
5. Oil the goose and smear any remaining butter over the outside of the bird, season well with salt and pepper.
6. Roast in an oven bag at 140 degrees until quite soft to the touch. Depending on the size of the bird this can take 3-4 hours, sometimes more.
7. Once you are happy with the way the goose feels, punture the oven bag and drain the juices. Reserve the juices in a bowl in the fridge while the goose is resting (approx 1 hours breast side down). The fat will separate from the juice, skim this fat and keep it to cook potatoes in or use for confit. The juices will form the basis of your sauce.
8. Reduce the juices in a pan and taste for seasoning, if the jucies are highly seasoned then do not reduce them too much, but rather thicken them with a little flour and butter.
9. Carve the goose and serve the stuffing under the meat. Enjoy!
Quick Cook Corn-fed Turkey
A 6kg turkey
2 sprigs rosemary
1 clove garlic
50ml olive oil
Murray (pink) salt
500ml chicken stock
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 100gm packs Black Pig Belly Bacon, rind removed and diced
2 grated apples
1 bunch sage
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 egg (optional)
Salt and pepper
1.To make the stuffing, saut the onion in butter and olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper until onion is softened and translucent.
2. Add garlic and diced bacon, cook for a couple of minutes and add the grated apple. Season, add your breadcrumbs and mix well.
3. Chop the herbs and add to stuffing at the end. Mix an egg into the stuffing if you want it to hold firmly.
4. Adjust seasoning and allow to cool before putting into the cavity.
To Prepare The Turkey
1.Melt butter and add olive oil.
2.Take off the heat and add the salt, pepper and garlic.
3. Chop the herbs and add them making a fragrant paste.
4. Rub all over the bird and place some in the cavity.
5. Fill the turkey with stuffing.
6. Tie the legs together and bend the wings behind the bird for presentation.
7. Place in a roasting tray with the chicken stock in the bottom of the pan.
You should leave this for up to 3 hours out of the fridge for the turkey to come to room temperature and for the flavours to really absorb. Or you can leave it overnight and remove the birds from the fridge 3 hours before commencement of cooking.
8. Roast for 1.5 hours at 170 degrees fan forced. Do no open the oven for the first 30 minutes, but baste the bird at 30 minutes and every 10-15 minutes after that. The turkey is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 58 degrees it will continue cooking while resting.
Most importantly, cover and rest in a warm spot for 1 hour breast down after taking out of the oven.