Roasting a goose makes any holiday feast merrier. Not only because it’s not the same old turkey or beef roast, but because goose meat is intensely meaty and flavorful and cloaked in a layer of unbelievably rich, crispy skin.
As an extra bonus, a goose also leaves behind a gift: lots of delicious goose fat. You’re likely to run out of the fat before you run out of ways to use it. Roast or sauté vegetables, pan-sear seafood, fry chicken, make duck or goose confit or chicken liver pate…the possibilities are endless. Rendered goose fat keeps for months in the refrigerator and up to a year in a good freezer.
Rendering the goose fat is an extra step in the cooking process, but an easy one. And after that, cooking a goose isn’t much different than cooking a turkey; in fact, it’s easier without all that dry white breast meat to worry about. Geese have dark meat throughout because they use their breast muscles regularly for flight. A goose is the perfect bird for real meat lovers. Close your eyes while eating roasted goose breast and you might just think you’re eating steak.
If cooking a goose seems daunting, don’t worry, it’s not. This recipe might look long, but only because it’s filled with lots of helpful tips. The process itself couldn’t be easier: season the goose, steam the goose in a roasting pan, roast the goose for several hours, then enjoy the feast.
Servings: Eight to Ten
Time in the Kitchen: Very little prep involved, mostly cooking time: One hour for steaming plus two to three hours for roasting (plus two full days beforehand to defrost a frozen goose in the refrigerator).
1 goose (12-14 pounds) wing tips cut off and neck and giblets and excess fat taken out of the cavity (5 to 6 kg)
3 teaspoons salt (15 ml)
1 teaspoon black pepper (5 ml)
1 teaspoon allspice (5 ml)
1 lemon, halved
8 sprigs of thyme
2 pounds of carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces (900 g)
1 bunch of celery (about ten stalks) cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 pounds parsnips, cut into 1-inch pieces (680 g)
Allow two full days in the refrigerator for defrosting the bird if frozen.
Gently pull the skin away from the bird and prick the skin with a fork or skewer all over, being careful not to prick the meat. This helps the fat drain so the skin becomes crispier.
Mix together salt and pepper and allspice. Rub all over the bird then squeeze juice from the lemon all over the bird. Place the used lemon and the thyme in the cavity.
Add six cups of water and the neck and giblets to a deep roasting pan. Set the goose (on a rack) in the roasting pan, breast side up.
Cover the entire pan tightly with foil and set over two burners on the stove.
Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium to keep the water at a simmer for one hour. This will steam the goose and render fat from the skin. Check the pan near the end of the hour to make sure all the water hasn’t evaporated; if the water level is getting low, just add another cup of water.
Uncover and remove the roasting pan from heat. Lift the goose and rack out of the roasting pan. Take out the neck and giblets (eat or discard). Pour the liquid in the pan through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl or measuring cup. As it cools, the pure fat will rise to the top. Skim or pour it off and save for future use. You should get several cups of fat.
**Optional: For upping the odds of crispy skin, the steamed goose can be refrigerated, uncovered, on the roasting pan rack overnight. Bring the bird to room temperature again before putting in the oven.
Preheat oven to 350 ºF (176 ºC).
The vegetables can be cooked in the roasting pan with one cup of water or stock under the goose to save oven space, or be placed in their own pan and lightly coated with rendered goose fat. Keep in mind that if the veggies are in the roasting pan under the goose they’ll be hard to stir and won’t cook as evenly.
Take the lemon and thyme out of the goose. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Place the goose on the rack, still breast side up, in the roasting pan.
Roast for one hour, uncovered. If the skin has browned to your liking, flip the bird over. If not, continue to roast breast-side up for another half hour. Then, flip the bird over so it’s breast-side down.
Roast thirty minutes longer, or until the internal temperature deep in the thigh is 175 to 180 ºF. (79 to 82 ºC)
Transfer goose to a cutting board; let rest twenty minutes before cutting. After being eaten, the carcass can be used to make stock.
Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings Coming Soon!
The printing job for this book is about complete. I’m really happy with how it has turned out, and I’m sure you’ll love it. In case you missed the announcement last month, this new cookbook is all about turning ho-hum meals into Primal masterpieces with delicious and nutritious sauces, dressings, marinades, condiments, and other toppings. It includes over 120 easy-to-prepare recipes inspired by traditional and contemporary cuisine from around the world. From the staples (ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, mayonnaise) to the innovative (Blueberry Chutney, Coconut Cilantro Pesto, Avocado Lime Dressing), every recipe will enhance the nutritional value of your meal, using only Primal-approved ingredients. That means no gluten, grains, legumes, added sugar, or unhealthy oils. The recipes we developed for this cookbook have already changed the way I prepare my Primal meals. I can’t wait for it to do the same for you.
If you’re a long-time Mark’s Daily Apple reader, you know that I always do something special for devoted readers when I release a new book. Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings drops on December 5th, and this book release will be no different. In fact, it will be bigger than ever…
Starting December 5th, I’ll be offering prizes with a total value of over 1 million dollars to people that buy one or more copies (it will make the perfect holiday gift!) of the book during the first week it is available. So mark your calendar and be ready to jump on this special offer while it lasts.