Goose meat is very rich, and there’s not a lot of meat on the birds, so I make sure there are plenty of vegetables on the side and plenty of roast skin on the bird.
- 1 x 3 kg goose
- 40 g butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 onions, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
- 140 g (1 cup) raw hazelnuts
- 1 cup torn stale bread
- 1 bunch sage, finely chopped
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 egg
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- a selection of good roasting vegetables, such as carrot, parsnip and potatoes
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
If your goose is frozen you’ll need to defrost it in the fridge for 2 days before starting.
Remove goose from fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 180°C. Melt butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat, then add oil. Add onions and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent. Remove from heat. Set aside.
Meanwhile, place hazelnuts on an oven tray and roast for 10 minutes or until golden and skins start to shed off. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Rub off skins and roughly chop.
In a large bowl, mix torn bread, chopped hazelnuts, sage, zest, egg, cooked onion mixture and any juices from the frying pan. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon stuffing loosely into body cavity of goose, finishing with the whole apple to seal in the stuffing. Weigh the bird to calculate the cooking time; you need 20 minutes per 500 g, plus an extra 30 minutes. For a 3 kg goose you will need about 2½ hours.
Season skin, and place on a clean oven rack. The idea is that air circulates all around the bird so it crisps up all over (let’s face it, geese are expensive, so you want to get the most from every bit of the bird!). There’s no need to add any fat as there should be plenty inside the goose. Place goose in the centre of the oven and an empty roasting pan (which will soon be filled with vegetables) on the shelf underneath.
Roast for 1 hour, then remove from oven and baste goose all over with cooking juices. Return to oven and continue to baste every 30 minutes. When there is 1 hour of cooking time left, drain off any excess fat from roasting pan underneath goose, add vegetables to pan and return to oven.
For the final 30 minutes of cooking, increase heat to 200°C to crisp goose skin; cover legs with foil if they appear to be cooking too quickly. To test if goose is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh, closest to the body, with a metal skewer; if cooked, the juices should run clear. Remove goose from oven, cover with foil and set aside to rest in a warm place for 20 minutes. Carve goose and serve with vegetables and stuffing.
Photography Alan Benson. Styling Michelle Crawford. Food preparation Asher Gilding.
As seen in Feast magazine, July 2014, Issue 33.