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Mar 6, 2009 01:22 PM

1yr old goose it still good?

During Xmas'07 I got a nice jar of real Austrian goose fat. Used it once, and forgot all about it.
It does not smell bad, has a nice, white color- do you think I can still use it?

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  1. If it's been refrigerated the whole time, it won't hurt you. It might taste a little off if it's picked up flavors from the fridge.

    1. I've certainly seen fat (of any kind) get rancid, but I've never seen it grow mold or anything like that. I'd say that if it still smells good, it probably is, especially if it's been refrigerated. I certainly wouldn't throw out duck fat if I could help it.

      1. Goose fat, duck fat and good butcher's lard are so concentrated in fat and so low-moisture that they keep refrigerated very well. My last liter of duck fat was over two years old the last time I made confit; and I boosted the volume with goose fat left over from Christmas, plus a little lard as needed to cover the meat adequately. The mixture now resides in the fridge in two containers, a large one to keep for confit-making, and a small lidded bowl to use for greasing skillets, frying eggs, whatever - it's delicious!

        7 Replies
        1. re: Will Owen

          Yeah, it really smells good, and looks good....It would be such a shame to throw it out.
          So, it gets officially moved to my new fridge in my new kitchen, and hopefully I use it sooner than Xmas '09 :-))))

          1. re: Will Owen

            Agree with Will. My duck fat in the fridge is at least 2 years old and tastes as wonderful as ever. I sort of use the "solera" method because I make confit several times a year and it adds fresh fat to the mix. And the beauty is that this amounts to a culinary Ponzi scheme: The more you confit, the more fat you get, permitting you to siphon off the extra for the usual uses (that being everything).

            1. re: zamorski

              What, exactly, do you mean by the "solera" method?

              1. re: CindyJ

                Solera is an allusion to the method they use in making wines like madera where wine is blended over many years of the aging process and theoretically you can be drinking wine that's been aging hundreds of years. It doesn't really apply to goose fat, but a very effective analogy.

                1. re: hankstramm

                  I was thinking that in this case the reference is to the practice of adding fresh fat to replenish the volume lost in the process, as is also done when making sherry and madeira - as the evaporation lowers the level in the barrels, new wine is added to top them up.

              2. re: zamorski

                Ditto here. Just be sure after each confit adventure to bring the fat to a boil and strain it through cheesecloth to be sure it has no meat or juices in it before you store it back in the fridge.

                1. re: BobB

                  I try to be a little more careful than that. Melt it fully first, then carefully pour it off any watery residue (like clarifying butter). A fat separator pitcher is good for that. You will lose some fat in the process, but better that than invite spoilage. Then bring the fat up to a temperature where any residual moisture starts boiling off. Hold it there until it stops sizzling completely - do NOT let it get much hotter than that! Cool uncovered, then cover and refrigerate.

            2. In hopes that there are no stupid questions, let me preface this by saying that I don't live out in the middle of nowhere, but I have never seen a duck or goose in any local grocery stores. (I've cooked geese that were hunted here.)
              Where do you buy fine goose fat? Much less fine, Austrian goose fat?

              What kind of butcher shop, and are there some key words to ask for?

              6 Replies
              1. re: shallots

                It's sold in jars and cans at stores that carry "gourmet"/fancy/luxury foods... I haven't seen Austrian goose fat but have seen French. I'm sure it must be available mailorder.

                1. re: shallots

                  We could always find ducks in the frozen-poultry sections of supermarkets in Nashville, and around the holidays geese as well. I remember putting three frozen ducklings on the checkout conveyor at the Green Hills HG Hill store, and when the young checker saw them and said, "You gettin' THREE ducks?" I said, "Yup - Huey, Dewey and Louie!" She looked like she was gonna cry...

                  The availability works about the same here in SoCal, the biggest difference being the scarcity of such things as capons, which were year-around in Nashville. What we can get here is duck hindquarters, constantly available in packages of three in the Asian markets. Confit is just a day away...

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    LOL about Huey, Dewey and Louie!
                    I've never bought jarred fat but I've saved fat from ducks and geese that I've cooked, It keeps for a long time if it's pure fat.

                  2. re: shallots

                    This is where I buy mine locally, and they will do mail orders:

                    They have both goose and duck fat available, as well fine meats, from fresh foie gras to genuine Kobe beef. They're not cheap but they are good.

                    1. re: BobB

                      If you're a right coaster, Wegman's sells duck fat. It's about $5 for a 7 oz. container of D'Artagnan.

                      I cook frequent ducks just to keep our supply of fat going.

                      1. re: JonParker

                        i'll make a duck just to save the fat to make fried potatoes. yum....

                  3. Related question: I have had some duck confit unopened in a glass jar in the refrigerator for several years...maybe as many as 5....there is no mold on top.....if I open it and it smells ok would it be ok? The meat is completely covered in fat. i"m not going to open it until I plan to use it (thinking as long as it's sealed there is less chance of contamination, but that may be just wishful thinking on part).

                    the rest of my duck fat has been in the freezer for just as long. Ideally I'd like to use my confit legs soon maybe in cassoulet or a winter salad while it's still cold, and then combine the refrigerated and frozen fat, using Will Owen's method...thanks Will!...and confit again. Thoughts?