Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Goose for Christmas


One Christmas break about 30 years ago my best friend Andrew and I decided we should eat a goose. We were in high school, and typically did odd things like this - throwing formal tea parties, making wonder wine. We had absolutely no idea what we were doing - just roasted it, drained off all the pan drippings, fat and all, and made a raspberry tinged sauce. It was good, surprisingly enough.
In the intervening years, I've come to realize that goose is one of the most perfect foods on earth, but there's so much more to do with it than roast and serve. So I've been curing goose breast, smoking odds and ends, rendering fat, chopping liver, making stock - everything you can imagine.
Recently the nice people at D'Artgnan sent me a goose (and the recipe, 17th century salted goose breast on a puree of peas from Pierre de Lune, should appear on their site imminently). But I also had other bits. This is the legs and thighs, cured for 10 days then simmered slowly in the fat for about 5 hours. Stuffed into a jar and put on the shelf. It has since gone opaque. Should definitely wait for Christmas. But AH, the anticipation!!

11 comments:

kryssie's daily photo said...

Don't do it, wait. The best things in life are worth waiting for.

el said...

How odd: I just retrieved a half of a goose out of the freezer this morning. I intended to roast it for the drippings (feeling low, need potato fries in its fat) but now you've given me other ideas. I had mentally reserved the leg and maybe part of the breast for cassoulet on Sat. but maybe I'll do a duck for that...so, you brined it for 10 days, eh? Hmm.

sharon said...

Ah, Ken, post that whole technique I read a few days ago, would you? It is why I'm getting a goose from Ann Tiplady next week. Mmmm, a greasy week!
Sharon

Ken Albala said...

Sure folks, I'll be happy to explain it. Not brined at all, but cured. Take two legs and 2 thighs. Sprinkle on a mix of 2 tbs sea salt, 1/4 teapoon instacure #1 or the same of celery powder cure, a tablespoon of sugar, and crushed juniper, sage, pepper, whatever you like for seasoning. Throw in a ziplock bag and into the fridge for 10 days. Turn over the bag every day. With fat you've rendered from the goose, cook in a pot covered with fat on lowest possible heat for about 4 or 5 hours. Put goose parts in a jar, cover with fat, seal. Store at room temperature. And wait about a month or longer.

And el, I am with you. Making some goose fat fries tonight!!

Kathryn McGowan said...

Oooh, I was thinking of doing goose this year for Christmas dinner. Do you recommend the steam and then roast technique? Any tips are appreciated.

lostpastremembered said...

I can see a cassoulet on the horizon for those legs... nummy idea. I am torn between fowl and beef for the holidays... this is really a lovely way to get your goose cooked!

Anonymous said...

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Chef Dad said...

I grew up confused. My family was still quite close to a German heritage and for Thanksgiving we usually had goose when I was young and then Turkey for Christmas. Apparently, when my dad's family first heard there was this big celebration about being an American they went and got a goose because that's what they knew from the Old World. Go figure.

Peter said...

There's nothing better than goose confit. And just think of the uses for all that glorious fat...

Katrina@TheGastronomicalMe said...

Right, all you goose experts - what do you suggest doing with leftover goose meat? I roasted with apple and cranberry sauce yesterday, have about half a litre of fat (for which I'm sure I'll find some use), but the meat now is quite tough and I want some inspiration!

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