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Roast goose with roast roots, apple sauce and gravy
Roast goose with roast roots, apple sauce and gravy
added by HughFW

Roast Goose with all the trimmings perfect for Christmas - taken from the River Cottage Year.

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Prep time
  • 30mins
Cook Time
  • approx 2 hrs
  • 4-6
  • 1 Goose

Roast goose with roast roots, apple sauce and gravy

Prick the surface of the breast all over with a sharp fork and rub well with a little rough salt and pepper. It can be served ever so slightly pink, which is best achieved by roasting fast in a hot oven (220C/Gas Mark 7) for about 20 minutes. Thereafter the temperature is (180C/Gas Mark 4) for a further 60 minutes. If you prefer a more well done bird cook for anything up to another 20 minutes. Let it rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Here’s how to fix the accompaniments:

The gravy

The basis for your gravy is the stock in which the giblets, neck (and maybe the feet and head) of the goose were cooked. After the initial cooking, this stock should be strained and refrigerated, so the fat, which will set on the top, can then easily be removed. Then warm up the stock and strain it through a cloth or muslin into a clean, heavy-based pan. Add one third as much red wine as there is stock and bring to the boil to reduce. The stronger the reduction, the less you need. I like to think in terms of about a tablespoon per person, and so reduce it until I have about 200ml. Do not season with salt or pepper until after the reduction is finished or it will become unpalatably salty as it reduces.

This will make an intensely flavoured but quite thin jus to serve with the goose. If you like a thicker gravy, whisk a little beurre mani�(soft butter mixed to a paste with a little plain flour) into the boiling juices until you get the thickness you require.

Both versions can be supplemented at the last moment by the juices strained from the roasting tin, deglazed with another splash of red wine. But skim off as much fat as you can and whisk the gravy well to incorporate the little that inevitably gets through.

�The apple sauce

Peel, core and slice 3 large Bramleys and cook them with just a tablespoon of water, a small knob of butter and 1 tablespoon caster sugar until they disintegrate. Keep simmering gently for 10 minutes or so until you have a nice, thick apple puree. Sweeten to taste with a little more caster sugar if you like (I recommend you keep it tart to cut the fat of the goose).

Serving up the roast

I like to carve the roast at (or beside) the table, in the traditional manner. With the first courses already despatched, a couple of thin slices of breast per person, plus at least one piece each of the various different roast roots, a good drizzle of the very rich gravy, and a generous tablespoon of the apple sauce, should keep everybody happy.

Roast winter vegetables

Goose fat, if carefully used, can be recycled several times, and a dish of vegetables roasted in goose fat is easily delicious enough to get a solo outing as a supper dish once in a while.

Any of the following vegetables can be roasted in about 2cm depth of rendered goose fat. Truth be told, good-quality lard (home-rendered), beef dripping or best olive oil can also be used to delicious effect. The fat or oil should be thoroughly heated in a roasting tin in a fairly hot oven (200�C/Gas Mark 6) before any of the vegetables go in. They do not all take the same time to cook, so can be added at staggered intervals. All should be turned once or twice during cooking and seasoned towards the end with salt and pepper.

To serve up, drain the roasted vegetables on kitchen paper, pile them in a hot dish, give a generous final seasoning of salt and pepper, and take to the table.

Basic preparation and cooking times are given below:

Potatoes – peeled, par-boiled for 5 minutes in well-salted water, cut as you like, and scratched with a fork: 40–45 minutes.

Parsnips –peeled and cut as you like: 30–35 minutes.

Celeriac – peeled and cut into 5cm cubes: 30–35 minutes.

Jerusalem artichokes – scrubbed and dried, but unpeeled and left whole:30–35 minutes.

Swede – peeled and cut into large chunks: 30–35 minutes.

Beetroot – raw, peeled and cut into large chunks: 30–35 minutes.

Pumpkins and squashes – in chunky pieces, seeds removed but skins still attached: 30 minutes.

Carrots – big donkey carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks: 30 minutes.

Shallots (or baby onions) – whole and in their skins: 30 minutes.

Garlic – whole bulbs in their skins: 30 minutes.

Leeks –cut into 5cm lengths: 20 minutes.

Creamed sprouts with chestnuts and bacon

Some people think they don’t like sprouts. Try this simple and delicious concoction on them and ask them to think again. It works as a great accompaniment to the Christmas roast, be it goose or turkey or (especially) a hot, glazed Christmas ham. But it’s also a nice winter supper dish on its own.

To serve 6 as a side dish, 2 for supper

Roast about 250g chestnuts in advance: make a small slit in each one to prevent explosions, then toast them on a shovel in the fire, or in a dry heavy frying pan on the hob, turning frequently, until nicely charred and cooked through. This takes about 10–15 minutes. Peel when cool enough to handle, removing the thin, brown inner skin too. Then roughly chop or crumble them.

Trim 500g Brussels sprouts and simmer gently in well-salted water for 8–10 minutes, until just tender. Drain, put in a food processor with a knob of butter and 2 tablespoons double cream and pulse several times until you have a rough, creamy puree.

Cut up 4–6 thick streaky bacon rashers into 5 or 6 pieces each and fry them until crisp. Stir the chestnut pieces into the creamed sprouts and gently heat through until thoroughly hot. Spread into a warmed dish and sprinkle over the crispy bacon bits. Serve at once.

Recipe taken from the River Cottage Year - available here:

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