Sunday, November 7, 2010

I roasted a goose!

Two goose posts in two days...

There have been two whole snow geese in my freezer since March. For eight months, I've feared preparing a Roast Goose. Have you ever read up on how to roast a goose? Virtually every article and recipe start out the same: "Roast goose has a bad reputation. It can be greasy, fatty, and livery, unless you know how to do it right."

That's not encouraging. I've never roasted a goose - I sure as heck don't know how to do it 'right'.

I checked in the Little House Cookbook. It involved seventeen hours of cooking on a wood stove with the draught open. I have a good supply of kitchen appliances, but a woodstove with a draught is one thing that's missing.

My Better Homes and Garden cookbook - the standby for everything I could ever want to cook - doesn't actually have even one goose recipe.

After scouring the internet, and finding several different articles and suggestions, I settled on this one from Hank Shaw of the blog Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook. Based on what I had on hand, and what I read in a few other blogs, I made a few changes: I stuffed the inside of the bird with apples and onions, and I let it roast til the breast was about 142 degrees.

One thing 'they' talk about with geese is the huge amount of fat in them. Apparently this isn't so much an issue with wild snow geese... at least, it wasn't with this one. Hardly a bit of fat on the silly bird, just barely enough to baste it with every 20 minutes or so. Because of this, I covered the whole roasting pan with foil, hoping to get some actual drippings. Not so much a success, but at least it wasn't dry.

So anyway, the verdict: roast goose is really good. It's tender, juicy, and has a mild but definitely distinct flavor. And it really wasn't that hard. Other than pricking the skin to allow the fat to drain (which was probably unnecessary with this particularly fat-less bird) it wasn't any different than roasting a chicken. I served it with basmati rice and home grown roasted beets. The carcass is in the crock pot now, hopefully turning into goose broth for soup this week.

I'm glad I finally sucked it up and tried it - it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. I'm pretty sure it won't take me another 8 months to roast the next one.


Wendy said...


Julie said...

Wendy - no, it really wasn't - I was surprised!

Anonymous said...

Go, you-- Ma Ingalls would be proud :-)

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Glad you liked the recipe! Snow geese, eh? That is the one goose I tend to skin, as they are incredibly hard to pluck. I am surprised it had any fat on it at all. Canada and whitefront geese will typically have far more of it -- but nothing like a domestic.