Goose on a spit- advice?
Hey all, through a confluence of weird circumstances, we're going to be having a spit fire-roasted beach party for New Years on a frozen beach in New England.
The guest of honor is going to be a freshly slaughtered pig, which will be taking up most of the space on the spit. I got the idea, though, of also trying some fowl on there. Specifically, I wanna do a goose!
So, any advice? I don't have much experience here, and would love general advice on preparation, dressing, and cooking times.
Now if you think open-fire cooking is an all around horrible idea for it, I'll take oven suggestions as well.
The spit roast is not a horrible idea at all. Goose, like pig, is naturally pre-larded and should baste itself well. Do you have a rotisserie motor and a long extension cord?
Regardless, a 12-pound turkey takes about 4 hours on a medium-hot spit; a 5-pound duck about 2.5. Geese are somewhere in-between. It depends on your how high your fire is and how cold the beach. You have to measure the internal temp--185F at the thigh joint. And leave the cavity open--no stuffing. The trick will be getting the bird and pig done at the same time.
For prep, I'd brine it in a salt/OJ/brownsugar mix for 6 hours to overnight. If you want to get fancy/unami, replace some of the salt with soysauce and add a little tomato paste--the glutamates will tenderize the meat and even though geese are always fat, they usually need some help with toughness. Rinse and pat dry and lightly salt and pepper inside and out before mounting on the spit. If the pig unbalances the spit, use the bird to rebalance it. I'd poke a few holes through the skin to let the fat render out without splitting the skin open. That's about it. Happy New Year.
You could do it in a cast iron dutch oven dug into the coals of the fire. I have done duck & pheasant (combined) this way and it turned out good. The cast iron radiated the heat in a way that caramelized everything wonderfully. The one I did we had a duck and 2 pheasants and the duck fat made up for what the pheasants didn't have. You should be able to do a solo goose this way. We had onions and a bit of bacon in the dutch oven. The bacon added a nice smokey flavor and the onions cooked in all that fat.
The big pain with doing a goose over a fire on a spit is all that fat causing flare ups. If you get a flat lid dutch oven with the lip around the lid you can pile coals on the lid.
I'd definitely go with the oven for the goose, more control over the roasting that way, the fat gets saved, and stick with the spit for the pig; that'll be enough work in and of itself. Maybe a few capons might be a nice idea to fill up the spit, but they will cook much faster than the pig.
Be safe, don't rely on alcohol to keep you warm on the beach, and do wear your long underwear, frozen beaches in NE in the winter can be bitchin' cold.
My father, born and raised in Maine, called that kind of weather "brisk," haha.
I do goose in the oven every year for christmas--have done it for 10 years now. I think an open fire goose would be tricky and labor intensive not to mention how sad it would be to lose all the lovely goose fat. I would think that unless you had a machine or a small boy [like in ancient medieval castles] to turn the spit, you would run a grave risk of too much fat rendering off one side and the goose turning tough. I also think that the goose and the pig wouldn't cook at the same rate which might also cause issues.
That said, if you do it anyway, be sure to tell us how it works.....