I had only ever smoked a goose breast and made goose confit before I had the chance to rear and cook my own geese. The results were such a revelation. The meat was dark and tender and sweet and complex, the smoke present but not too dominant. It’s worth giving it a crack if you get the chance. You can substitute duck for the goose, if you like. The cabbage and fennel salad benefits from being dressed an hour or so before serving.






Skill level

Average: 1 (1 vote)


  • 2 star anise
  • 1 orange, rind only
  • 250 g salt
  • 4 litres water
  • 3.5 kg goose

Cabbage and wild fennel salad

  • 1 small head cabbage, finely shredded
  • handful of wild fennel tops, chopped roughly
  • 1 small leek, cleaned and finely sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup olive oil

Warm potato salad with speck

  • 1 kg pink eye potatoes, peeled, chopped and steamed or boiled
  • 100 g sour cream
  • 100 g mayonnaise
  • 5 dill pickles, chopped finely
  • 100 g speck, chopped

Cook's notes

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.


Standing time overnight
Smoking time 10 hours

You will need to begin this recipe 2 days ahead. 

Place the star anise, orange rind, salt and water in a bucket and whisk to dissolve. Place the goose in the bucket with a weight on top to keep it submerged and stand in a cold place (about 12°C) overnight. A fridge would be good, but it’s a big bucket.

The next day, pat the goose dry and cold-smoke well, using apple wood, for about 10 hours.

To roast, heat a kettle-style barbecue (any brand will do) so the coals are white. Pop the coals on either side of the centre and roast the goose in the middle for about 2 hours, or until cooked through and tender.

Meanwhile, to make the cabbage and fennel salad, toss the cabbage and fennel well and add the leek, some salt and pepper, and the vinegar and oil. Use your fingers to make sure it’s all well dressed.

To make the warm potato salad, mix the potato with the sour cream, mayonnaise and pickles while still warm. Fry the speck well over medium heat, so the fat renders out. Tip it over the spuds, molten fat and all, and stir well to combine.

Serve goose hot with the salads on the side.