Goose Braised with Plums

A large, rather old goose is very good for a supper party if cooked in this way and served with rice. A large fish kettle is necessary, as the goose must be closely covered. The plums are just about ripe at Michaelmas when a young goose was sometimes cooked in this way in Kent. A young goose requires about two-thirds the cooking time of an older one.

Ingredients

  • 1 two-year-old goose or gander about 11 lb (5 kg), or 1 Michaelmas goose about 8 lb (4 kg), rubbed all over with seasoned flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) butter
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage
  • cups (3 dl) stock
  • cups (3 dl) dry white wine or cider
  • 3 lb ( kg) ripe plums, Victorias or golden dessert plums are best
  • Sugar
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Grease a fish kettle, which must be large enough to take the goose comfortably, with the butter and put half the onions in the bottom. Mix the herbs with salt and pepper and sprinkle half of them on top of the onions and put the remaining onion and herbs inside the goose. Lay the goose, breast downwards, in the fish kettle. Mix the stock with the wine or cider and pour it all round the goose. Cover the kettle with foil and then with its lid. Bring just to the boil and then put in the oven at 350°F (180°C, Gas Mark 4) for 3 hours if an old bird or 2 if young. Meanwhile, stone all the plums, cutting them in half. Sprinkle with a very little sugar and leave in a colander to drain.

After 3 (or 2) hours remove the fish kettle from the oven and lift out the goose on to a board or clean dish. Turn the oven heat up to 400°F (200°C, Gas Mark 6). Let the goose drain for a minute and spoon out any liquid from inside the carcass, adding it to the rest in the kettle. Skim as much fat as possible from the liquid in the kettle, check the flavour and add more salt and a sprinkling of pepper, if necessary. Put half the plums inside the goose and put it back in the liquid, breast upwards. Put the remaining plums in the stock around it and return to the oven, uncovered for a further 45 minutes for a large bird or 30 minutes for a smaller one.

When the goose is cooked lift it out on to a dish and surround with the plums from inside the bird. The breast and thighs should be nicely browned.

Keep hot while you skim the gravy and lift out some of the plums to add to those around the goose. Pour all the gravy, with any remaining plums, into a sauceboat and serve separately.