Raymond Blanc’s Roast Goose recipe yields perfectly tender leg and breast meat and crisp, golden skin that’s just perfect for Christmas.
- 1 x 4.5 to 5kg free-range organic Goose, excess fat trimmed and discarded, legs removed, excess carcass removed and chopped
- 1 Bay leaf, chopped
- 2 sprigs thyme, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 3 pinch Coarse sea salt
- 2 pinch Black pepper
- 80g butter, unsalted
- A pinch Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp goose fat
- 100g onion, cut in to 3cm (1¼in) pieces
- 60g carrot, peeled, cut in to 3cm (1¼in) pieces
- 20g celery, cut in to 3cm (1¼in) pieces
- 300ml water, hot from the tap
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 200ml Port
- 100ml Madeira (optional)
Preparing the goose
- Trim excess fat and discard.
- Remove wings, neck and legs and cut into 2cm pieces.
- Rub the flesh of the goose legs with the bay leaf, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Reserve.
- Brush the goose crown with the softened butter & season well with sea salt & freshly ground white pepper
Cooking the goose
- Pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
- In a large heavy-duty roasting pan, on a medium heat, colour the wings and neck in the oil for 5 minutes until lightly golden, add the vegetables and continue to brown for 3 minutes.
- Place the goose legs skin side up in the bottom of the roasting tray with the coloured bones, vegetables and excess fat and cover the tray tightly with foil.
- Roast in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 230°C.
- Remove the foil from the tray, sit the goose crown on top the legs and bones and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Turn the oven down to 150°C, add the water, bay leaf and thyme to the roasting pan which will create your jus as it cooks.
- Continue to cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until the breast reaches 55°C, basting every 10 minutes with the roasting juices.
- Remove the crown from the oven and tightly wrap in foil. Rest for 30 minutes – continue to cook the goose legs during this time.
- Remove the goose legs from the oven and then place on to a tray to rest. Reserve in a warm place until needed.
Finishing the roasting juices
- Pour off the excess fat that has rendered from the goose and reserve it for your roast potatoes.
- Place the baking tray on a medium heat, bring to the boil and stir the bottom of the tray to incorporate the caramelised roasting juices. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required.
- Remember to pour the resting juices from the goose into the jus. Strain through a fine sieve into a warm sauceboat.
- The jus can be thickened with 2g of arrowroot diluted in 2g of water if necessary.
Recipe notes by Raymond Blanc
Roast goose isn't as popular as turkey for the Christmas feast - supermarkets sell just a few thousand geese per one million turkeys - but it's really worth considering if you fancy a change. It's expensive and produces half the meat of a turkey so you're unlikely to get any leftover sandwiches out of it, but it is so delicious.
The flesh is rich and juicy, the skin is the crispiest gold, and the goose fat is like liquid nectar for the ultimate roast potatoes. Plus goose meat is surprisingly lean. Even the fat is good for you when compared with other fats - it is high in 'heart healthy' monounsaturated fats which can lower blood cholesterol level.
Ask the butcher to prepare it for you: to remove the legs and excess carcass, to chop up the wings and neck into 2cm pieces and to remove the wishbone (this makes the goose easier to carve). If you were to roast the bird whole then the breast would be over-cooked and the legs would be tough.