Goose Cooked with Tomatoes and Brandy

All too often goose can be disappointingly tough and greasy. This method of braising it slowly in the oven ensures that it stays tender and moist. The initial browning draws out much of the fat, so the goose won’t be too greasy, either. But do make sure that you have, or can borrow, a casserole or pan large enough (a preserving pan is ideal) to take the whole bird before you decide to embark on the recipe.

Render down the trimmings of fat and save for later use, perhaps for sautéed potatoes or fried bread. Wings, feet, neck, and giblets should be put aside to make the Goose Giblet Stew.

Ingredients

  • 1 large goose, weighing about 5.5 kg/12 lb
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 900 g/2 lb onions, sliced
  • 15 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 bottle of dry white wine
  • 2 × 400 g/14 oz cans tomatoes, and their juice
  • 3 tablespoons brandy

Method

Remove any fat from inside the goose, and trim off wings and feet. Season well inside and out with salt and pepper. Find a heavy flameproof casserole large enough to take the goose. Brown the goose in the casserole, over a gentle heat at first until the fat begins to run, then increase the heat to colour the skin evenly. Lift out the goose and set aside. Add the onions and garlic to the fat in the pan and fry for 5 minutes. Pour off excess fat, and add the herbs. Stir for a few more minutes, then return the goose to the casserole, breast down.

Add the wine, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil. Cover and cook in a preheated oven, 140°C/275°F/gas mark 1, for 1 hour. Turn the goose over and reduce the oven temperature to its lowest possible setting. Cook for a further 1½ hours, turning the goose breast down again for the last 30 minutes, until the juices run clear and the drumsticks are tender.

Lift the goose on to a serving dish, still breast down so that it remains moist. Keep warm. Skim off the fat and pass the sauce through a mouli légumes, or process briefly in a processor or blender and sieve. Pour into a pan, bring to the boil and reduce over a moderate heat until thick, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings, and add the brandy. Carve the goose and spoon a little sauce over the hot meat. Surround with the Sugared Onions and Chestnuts, and pass the rest of the sauce separately.

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