Christmas lunch yesterday was a triumph, mainly for the fact that I only had four of us to cook for – my wife and our two sons, as my stepdaughter was spending Christmas with her dad this year.
Some people have six, eight, ten people around for the Big Event and a I sincerely take my hat off to those noble kitchen warriors who have the skill and patience to serve so many.
Having said that, this recipe for Christmas Goose would easily feed six to eight. We had loads leftover, and hadn’t even touched the legs, which I’m going to use, confited, next week.
Goose, weighing 4.5-5kg. I bought mine from Allens of Mayfair, London’s oldest butcher.
1 leek, roughly chopped
2 apples, halved
1. Trim the goose of excess fat and put the leek and apples in the cavity. Rub the skin with olive oil and salt.
2. The goose produces A LOT of fat so arrange the shelves in the oven by putting the goose on a rack with a tray underneath. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
3. Cook the goose for half an hour at 200C/Gas 6, then lower the heat to 170C /Gas 3 and cook for a further 2.5 hours. Drain the fat into a saucepan every half an hour. My goose produced a whole saucepan – enough to roast the potatoes and carrots, AND fill four jars, which I’ve put in the freezer for later use.
4. Remove the goose from the oven, cover with tin foil and leave to rest for at least 30 mins.
5. Carve. There were only four of us for dinner, so I removed the legs and saved them to make confit goose legs later. Then I removed each breast whole by using a very sharp knife and following the breast bone. Then cut into thick slices, carving across the grain of the meat for extra tenderness.
6. Serve with goose-fat roasted potatoes and carrots, buttered sprouts, stuffing balls and Jamie Oliver’s Get-Ahead Gravy, which I’d made the week before.