Goose is becoming more and more popular for celebrations. Judy Goodman, an AGA owner, rears her award-winning free-range geese in Worcestershire. Orders can be collected or overnight delivery is available from www.goodmansgeese.co.uk. Here is Judy’s recipe for preparing and cooking your goose.
5kg (11lb) goose
Green tops of two leeks
2 cooking apples, peeled cored and cut into chunks
Thyme or rosemary
Butter, oil or goose fat
Salt and black pepper
A little flour
1. A useful tip from Judy is to have two roasting tins, as it makes it easier when turning the goose. Line both tins with Bake-O-Glide and cut two pieces of foil, triangular shape, to cover both legs while the goose is cooking.
2. Take the goose and untie the string around the parsons nose area and fill the cavity of the goose with chopped green tops of leeks and some cooking apples, add thyme or rosemary and seasoning. Place the goose in the tin on the grill rack, at its lowest position and rub the breast with butter, oil or goose fat plus salt and pepper. Prick the fat gland under the wing and around the back of the goose by the parsons nose.
3. Melt some goose fat in a saucepan, cool and pour over the legs before you place the foil on top of them, or you can use butter or oil if you prefer. Lightly cover the breast with foil.
4. Slide the tin onto the lowest set of runners in the roasting oven and cook, see below for details, for 2-2½ hours in total. After the first hour turn the goose so the back is upwards, the back of the goose should not be covered with foil – this is when you can put the goose into the second tin, on the grill rack, and then you have surplus fat for roasting the potatoes and parsnips. Remember to keep the legs covered with the foil. Return to the oven for ¾-1 hour. Then turn the goose back to its original position cover the breast with a little flour and salt to crisp the skin, leaving the foil off the breast but still covering the legs. Cook for a further ¼-½ hour.
5. Lift the goose onto a carving dish to rest for about 20 minutes before carving. Gravy can be made the day before using the giblets from the goose and reheated when required.