CHRISTMAS GOOSE WITH SLOW
COOKED RED CABBAGE
Free range, slowly reared
goose makes a fantastic alternative to turkey.
Much more moist and flavoursome, with skin that
goes wonderfully crisp, roasting Goose lends an
added sense of luxury and indulgence to the festive
meal. Despite its size, goose does not carry that
much meat and an average size bird, weighing 4-6
kg will probably only feed 6-8 people with enough
scraps for leftovers perfect for serving up as
Aromatic crispy duck; in pancakes with plum sauce
and finely shredded cucumber and spring onion.
1. 24 hours
before you want to start cooking: bring a kettle
to the boil. Using a wire coat hanger, fashion
a hook from which the goose can hang. Pour hot
water all over the goose and then suspend the
goose in a cool area with plenty of air moving
through it. A clean space in a garage or shed
works well as long as it is out of reach from
any potential scavengers.
the stuffing by chopping the onion and apple in
largish chunks. Put in a large mixing bowl. Add
2/3 of the prunes, the spices and seasoning as
well as 150ml Armagnac - more if it doesn't cover
most of the onion and apple. Cover tightly with
cling film and keep cool over night.
3. Put remaining
prunes with 75ml Armagnac in a small saucepan
and sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of caster sugar.
Leave to infuse over night.
4. When getting
ready to cook: pre-heat the oven to 180°C/gas
mark 4. Fill the entire cavity of the goose with
the stuffing. Close the bird using two metal skewers
to keep the stuffing in. Season the skin with
extra salt and pepper.
5. Place the
goose on a rack over a large roasting tin and
put in the pre-heated oven.
6. Keep an
eye on the goose fat - it will drip into the roasting
tin in copious amounts. Drain off at various stages
of cooking. If you aim to collect the goose fat
make sure to decant regularly or the fat will
become blackened and bitter.
7. Roast the
goose for 45-50 minutes per hour. There's no denying
that roasting a goose fills the kitchen - in fact
the entire house - with smoke. However, the wonderful
aroma of seasonal spices and heady scent of Armagnac
compensates for that.
8. The goose
should be served with crisp roast potatoes, cooked
in goose fat and sprinkled with plenty of sea
salt; aromatic, unctuous red cabbage and the whole
prunes in Armagnac.
9. For the
potatoes, follow normal procedures for roast potatoes,
using goose fat.
10. When getting
ready to carve, gently heat the prunes to be served
on the side and arrange the goose with its soft
and aromatic stuffing.
For the Red Cabbage:
1. Halve and
quarter the red cabbage. Remove some of the tough
inner core then shred.
2. Peel, halve
and chop the onion finely. Peel and roughly chop
3. Melt the
goose fat in a large, heavy cast iron pan. Add
the shredded cabbage, chopped onion and apple.
Stir while these take on a nice shiny gloss from
the hot fat. Add the golden syrup and stir over
fairly high heat for another minute or two. Add
the vinegar, jelly or black currant drink and
spices, incl some of the salt and pepper. Pour
over the red wine and about a third of the water.
4. Cover the
pan with a lid, turn the heat down to a simmer
and leave to simmer for approximately 2 hours.
Give the red cabbage a stir, and check the seasoning,
every now and then. As and when, top up with a
little more water. Good red cabbage is all about
balancing sweet and sour, as well as getting the
overall seasoning right. You may find that you
want to add a little more of something.
5. The cabbage
should be veering towards tawny in colour, and
have a mellow, aromatic and well balanced flavour
by the time it is cooked.
6. It will
only benefit from being made a day or two in advance
and kept in the fridge until ready to be served.
Gently reheat, adding a tablespoon of butter to
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