Holiday Problem: Too Many Goose Livers (is there any such thing?) [moved from General Topics]
- dduane Dec 22, 2009 12:47 PM
Cousins -- After a visit to our local craft butcher in Ireland to pick up our holiday goose, I have an unusual problem.
I said to our butcher, "I need the giblets and hearts and livers, and keep the neck...!" -- this being something you have to specify in this neighborhood. Once upon a time in Ireland, no one would have let a chicken, turkey or goose escape them without the innards: but sometime after WWII (known locally as The Emergency), respect for the Insides began to shift, and people began to be embarrassed about wanting, or eating, the parts of a bird that only poor people would need -- or so it was thought. Later on, as the Celtic Tiger and the wealthy times came upon the Island of Saints and Scholars, no one here in their right mind would be seen with a giblet... something that made me sad over the course of many expat Thanksgivings. The butcher could only shrug and say, "The suppliers don't send them along to us...."
Geese, though, are another story, it would seem. Being greener by definition -- all free range, raised on grass until Michaelmas (in late September), then finished on grain until Martinmas (in November), they come to the butcher with all their bits (so to speak). When I picked up our goose from the local craft butcher, he went out of his way to show me the bag containing the giblets and other useful bits. In an access of hope (fueled by a pre-pickup drink or two down at the local pub) I said, "You wouldn't have any more of those, would you?" For other neighbors had been picking up their birds as well.
Our young butcher looked at me as if I'd recently arrived from Mars. "Sure I'll have a look," he said. And shortly thereafter he arrived with the results -- the cleanings of several other people's geese -- and handed the package off to me as if faintly glad to be rid of it.
So now I have a whole pound of fresh goose liver. (I say nothing of all the giblets and hearts, which are simmering happily as we speak.) It's not foie gras: just good old goose liver. Who has a really good recipe for goose liver pate? Or something similar? (Nothing has been done for these except that I immersed them for about half an hour in acidulated water to sweeten them: now they're drained and in the fridge.)
Innards are happily eaten in all parts of asia regardless of socio-economic position. interesting that Euro-centric cooking mashes up the parts so that they can't be recognized while asia cooking happily leaves the parts as is (less prep work!)
Innards (yes, inclusive of hearts, gizzards) can be slow cooked using any "red braised"-style recipe, substituting the typical pork. you'll need to add more oil than called for.
Drain livers well (so won't splatter when added to hot oil), cut into stew sized chunks. drain gizzards and hearts well, leave whole or cut gizzards in two at the tough center.
mash a few cloves of garlic to taste, slice 4 to 6 pieces of peeled ginger.
in a heavy bottomed pot with a lid over high heat, heat veg or corn oil (about 0.25" depth) until hot, but not sizzling. Add garlic, ginger ; stir until fragrant, then add livers to brown - can lower heat to medium-high or medium if they are browning too fast or crisping. don't be anxious to stir it around, but turn the livers when they release as they brown. add the gizzards and hearts to brown
add enough cooking wine (or white wine) to about one-quarter way up the pot, light soy sauce to taste (usually takes at least 1/4 cup, could take up to 1/2 cup), some sugar to taste (if white at least 3 tablespoons, can also use brown), 1/2 cup water, and (optional) a few pods of star anise, a piece of cinnamon if you prefer sweet or can add ground pepper (black or white) to taste. bring it all up to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and slow cook until cooked through and gizzards are tender. this could take an hour or two with occasional stirring to ensure all the pieces are absorbing the sauce. add water or a mixture of water, wine and soy if needed, although it should not.
can be eaten hot, warm, or cold. the sauce is great on rice or mashed potatoes (or could be used to help mash the potatoes!)