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Rick Stein’s Roast Goose with Sage and Onion Stuffing and Apple Sauce

Rick Stein's recipe for roast goose is the ultimate festive centrepiece. Complete with a sage and onion stuffing and apple sauce it's an excellent alternative to turkey.

From the book

Introduction

I can understand why turkey overtook goose as the preferred bird for Christmas in the 19th century – turkeys are much meatier – but I wonder if we’re not missing a treat. The flavour of goose, particularly of the fat, is so much more interesting. I’ve tried lots of different types of stuffing, but in the end I think a simple sage and onion is best. Anything with more punch, like apricots, prunes, chestnuts or sausage meat, merely competes for attention with the sublime flavour of goose.

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Ingredients

1 x 4.5–5kg oven-ready goose
salt and black pepper
For the sage and onion stuffing:
3 large onions, finely chopped
75g goose fat
400g fresh white breadcrumbs
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
4 tbsp chopped fresh sage
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1 large egg, beaten
salt and black pepper
For the gravy:
4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
goose giblets
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 bay leaves
6 black peppercorns
1 tbsp flour
For the apple sauce:
4 Cox’s apples, peeled, cored and sliced

Method

Preheat the oven to 220˚C/Fan 200°C. Remove all the clumps of excess fat from the inside of the goose cavity, put it into a pan and leave over a very low heat until melted. Pass it through a fine sieve into a bowl.

Season the goose inside and out with salt and place it on a rack set over a large roasting tin. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove it from the oven and lower the temperature to 180˚C/Fan 160°C. Lift the goose on to a board with 2 wooden spoons (you don’t want to pierce the skin), pour off the excess fat from the roasting tin and then replace the goose on the rack. Keep the fat for future roast potatoes. Put the goose back in the oven and roast for a further 1½–2 hours, or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Halfway through the cooking time, pour off any excess fat if necessary.

Meanwhile, for the stuffing, fry the onions in about 75g of the goose fat until soft and very lightly browned. Put the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, sage and parsley in a bowl, add the onions and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the beaten egg to bind the mixture together. Spoon the stuffing into a well-greased terrine dish or loaf tin, cover with a lid or foil and set aside to cook later.

To make the giblet stock for the gravy, fry the bacon, giblets and vegetables in a little goose fat until golden brown. Pour off the excess fat, add 1.2 litres of water, the bay leaves and peppercorns and simmer for 1 hour. Strain through a sieve and set aside. For the apple sauce, put the prepared apples and 100ml of water into the pan and simmer for 12–15 minutes, stirring now and then, until soft and smooth. Season with a pinch of salt and keep it warm.

When the goose is cooked, lift it on to a board, cover it with foil and leave it to rest for at least 20 minutes. Put the stuffing in the oven and cook for 25–30 minutes. Set the roasting tin on the hob and stir in a tablespoon of flour. Add the giblet stock and deglaze the tin by rubbing the base with a wooden spoon. Season to taste, then pass through a sieve into a warm gravy boat.

Not being a very neat carver, I like to carve in the kitchen and take the slices of goose to the table on a large, warm plate. I cut off the legs and cut each one in half, then carve the breast meat away from each side into long, thin slices. I serve the stuffing, apple sauce and gravy separately, with some roast potatoes and vegetables.

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From the book: Rick Stein at Home: Recipes, Memories and Stories from a Food Lover’s Kitchen

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