The Christmas season has come and gone yet again! It’s amazing how much prep we do for those two or three days and how fast they are over…almost unbelievable. Personally, this year, I struggled with finding the Christmas spirit and keeping it – it seemed to be just beyond my grasp more often than not. In my family, we changed our traditions a little this year – something I found myself to be strongly resistant to. Christmas Eve is spent with my dad’s immediate family, and Christmas Day with my mom’s immediate family. Christmas Eve remained the same, but Christmas Day’s dinner changed from the typical chicken and meatballs, to a GOOSE, with meatballs and ham. The goose was something I was definitely not enthusiastic about, considering my previous experience which involved a very fatty, yet remarkably tough at the same time, goose. Who knew both these characteristics could exist simultaneously.
Nevertheless, the hunt for a decent, not too complicated recipe commenced and I was comforted by the knowledge that there would be ham! We settled on a roasted goose recipe from Martha Stewart and on Christmas Day, we began the prep by rinsing and pricking the skin, but not pricking the meat underneath, which proved to be difficult, as the skin is rather thick and knowing what you have pricked or haven’t pricked is hard. Hence the use of our kitchen poultry scissors.
The recipe is pretty standard – one thing about cooking poultry is that the basic principle of roasting is the same. Some fresh vegetables and herbs and some salt and pepper shoved inside the bird will do the trick.
The goose was ready for roasting after a healthy sprinkling of salt and pepper all over!
We started roasting the goose at about 440F for approximately 20 minutes, and then reduced the temperature to 325F and checked it every half hour or so. The good (?) thing about geese is that they don’t need any extra fat rubbed on them; the pricking of the skin at the beginning allows the goose to self-baste as it cooks, which produces a lovely crisp, golden skin. However, the ridiculous amount of fat that pads a goose’s shoulders can be a little concerning for those who would like a bit more of a health conscious meal. Having said that, however, Christmas may be the worst time to be thinking of having a health conscious meal. After the first 20 minutes, the goose looked like this:
And had produced this much fat (or, liquid gold, as my aunt fondly refers to it): (I should note that she used this goose fat to brush her hasselback potatoes, which produced a lovely crispy, crunchy skin on them)
We roasted the goose for approximately 3 to 3 1/2 hours, which we determined during dinner, that it was too long. As it was all of our first times actually COOKING the goose, the point of doneness was very unclear. We aimed for an internal temperature of 180F, but perhaps, this should have been reduced slightly, because juices were running clear with an internal temp of about 170F-175F. It looked fabulous, but still seemed to be tough.
(Thanks to my aunt for the final picture in the post! Follow her on Instagram for more food pictures @finns_church).
So, with the experience/experiment of cooking a goose now behind us, the question still remains: would we ever cook a goose again? My answer is still no (previous experience notwithstanding, goose is NOT my favourite poultry). However, my mom begs to differ – she maintains that another goose experience is worth it, if only to better learn how to do it, and if she were to do it again, perhaps it would NOT be at Christmas time. The overall verdict of the meal that day, seemed to be rather inconclusive. No one seemed to vouch for the goose, one way or the other. Perhaps the jury is still out!! ;)
Thanks for reading! Happy eats!
PS: If anyone is looking for a place to buy a good looking goose for a special meal, try http://www.interlakemeadowsfarm.com!