Traditional Michaelmas Goose with all the Trimmings

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Preparation info

  • Main course - Serves

    four

    • Difficulty

      Complex

    • Ready in

      4 hr 30

Appears in

Loose Birds & Game

Loose Birds & Game

By Andrew Pern

Published 2010

  • About

‘EAT A GOOSE ON MICHAELMAS DAY, WANT NOT FOR MONEY ALL YEAR!’

IT WAS ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT EATING GOOSE ON 29TH SEPTEMBER, THE FEAST OF ST MICHAEL, WOULD BRING YOU GOOD FORTUNE FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. GREEN GEESE, FED IN THE FIELDS, WERE USED RATHER THAN THE FATTER CHRISTMAS BIRD, AND ARE TRADITIONALLY GARNISHED WITH APPLES, DUE TO THE AMOUNT OF WINDFALLS AROUND AT THIS TIME OF YEAR.

Ingredients

For the Goose

  • 1 × 4-5 kg goose
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp mixed allspice
  • seasoning

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.

    To Prepare the Goose

    First prick the skin gently all over with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife. Cover with a little runny honey and sprinkle over the allspice and seasoning, then place on a cooking rack or trivet in a deep roasting tray (as the amount of fat that comes out of the meat is amazing: beware!) Place in the oven allowing 20 to 25 minutes per, ½ kg plus an extra 20 minutes to make sure, so around 2½ to 3 hours in total. When cooked, take care when removing from the oven due to the amount of fat – it’s worth taking care of as it makes wonderful roast potatoes. You can even rub it on your chest or use it to keep your harnesses and saddlery supple!

    Cut the tops off a third of the way down the apples, sprinkle with a little allspice, add a smidge of unsalted butter, and then replace the tops. Combine all of the forcemeat ingredients together, then form into 4cm balls, slightly flattened on each end. Place the apples and forcemeat balls together on a non-stick baking tray and cook in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until cooked through. Keep warm.

    To Make the Bread Sauce

    First add the onion to the milk and bring to the boil. Let this infuse for approximately 20 minutes, then remove the onion and the cloves. Add the breadcrumbs, spice and seasoning. Cook gently to a loose, dropping consistency. Set aside and keep warm.

    Pour off the fat and remove the bird from the tray. Keep the bird warm and add the cider and stock to the residue in the roasting tray. Bring to the boil and reduce, skimming off the excess fat. When the required consistency for a thin gravy is achieved, pass through a sieve, season and keep warm.