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Ah, the goose

I am thinking of switching things up a bit this Thanksgiving and considering roasting a goose. I have never done it before, though I am a frequent roaster/confit-er of duck. Several questions:

1.Does anybody have a great goose recipe? One that gets out a lot of the sub-dermal fat and crisps the skin? For this purpose I am looking for a recipe with its roots in Western Europe/North America.

2. Is goose fat as wonderful as duck fat? Should I make a real effort to conserve it?

3. Any outstanding sources for geese? I am in St. Louis city and will be looking for something local, but if anybody has a great farm they know about............

4. I was thinking of cold-smoking the goose for a bit before roasting. Any thoughts?

/Ready.......go

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  1. Goose fat, IMO, is the best!
    Roasting a goose is easy, but make sure you keep removing the fat.

    1. I highly recommend Julia Child's method for roasting goose (or duck) as detailed in "The Way To Cook"

      1. We made a roast goose for Christmas for several years. Though it is quite delicious, there were two problems we encountered, which ultimately convinced us to go back to the traditional English roast beef dinner. The first is that a goose does not feed as many people as either a turkey or a roast beef, and the second is that that the side dishes for goose tend towards the mittle European -- like cabbage and things with prunes -- and those just couldn't compare to mashed potatoes and broccoli with hollandaise. We were just never really satisfied with the total menu, which also never seemed to excite our guests all that much. After about 2 or 3 years, we just gave up and decided to live with duck fat from the annual confit-making. No question that potatoes fried in goose fat were pure luxury!

        1. love goose---its our Christmas day special and we've done it every year since we got married.

          First off, one doesn't stuff a goose. Stick a few carrots or onions and celery in the cavity and leave it alone.
          Second, be prepared to drain the fat OFTEN!!! As much fat as you think the goose will have, there will probably be more. and yes, you save every yummy little drop. The
          freezer works well for this.
          Third, we always end up with boring frozen geese. As I understand, there can be a big difference between farmed goose and those things I see down by the lake......If you find a local source, go for it.
          Fourth, I wouldn't bother smoking it, at least not the first year.

          As for side dishes, to be honest, when I think goose, I think Tiny Tim and Christmas. Goose is fatty and rich and you don't need that much of it for satisfaction. But the best goose side dishes are, in my mind, sort of Christmas themed--roast potatoes, apples [whole crab apples even better], quinces, onions. I scatter them on the bottom of the pan towards the end of the roasting so they cook in the goose fat. Serve all with sauteed kale & garlic.

          3 Replies
          1. re: jenn

            I like goose very much, so this is nothing negative. Ironically, to my surprise, Dickens specified that the bird sent to Bob Cratchet's house be the "prize turkey," not goose! I never understood that, seeing as how turkey is an American bird. Check "A Christmas Carol"'s text. And yes, potatoes fried in goose fat are wonderful!

            1. re: gfr1111

              oh yes I recall that he sent a turkey---never got that except maybe a turkey would be considered "exotic" and more costly.

              leftover goose makes awesome hash.....and tamales....and congee......

              1. re: gfr1111

                In Dickens' day, a goose was a relatively inexpensive meat. Turkey, on the other hand, was expensive. So Scrooge sending the prize turkey ("The one as big as me?!?") to the Cratchet family was a big, expensive deal!

            2. I raise domestic geese for individuals and chefs.This past week when the home kitchen
              orders came I requested methods and recipes.The "recipe"method of choice,(8 people,
              of 41) was a Julia Child etal VOL I "MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING".It
              is a very straightforward method,accurate and reliable.ALL DUCK (domestic) recipes
              translate to goose.Yes save the fat,bones etc,all contribute to more great eating.Goose
              will stretch a tad further than duck.(richer).
              Smoked domestic goose is wonderful,due to the fatty nature I only have great success
              if it is "hung",verticle,neck up.Seems not worth the time when you intend to roast.
              I roast mine upright,think beer can chicken,not in a regular capcity oven.My sister and
              a friend use the grill rotisserie.The recipes are a weave of Julia Child and WEBER.
              You should be able to find market geese in your area.One resource is the AMISH,most
              of the families have a source for goose.