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Roast goose at Christmas

The roast goose remains the chef's favourite for the festive season. Find out how it made its way to our Christmas table.

 

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat Please put a penny in the old man's hat If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do If you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you!

A roast goose has been part of the festive spread for many years. It has recently declined in popularity as we began to intensively rear turkeys, but until the 1960s it was our go-to main over the festive season. The rich, flavourful meat is a delicious alternative to turkey and a real crowd-pleaser.

The goose is the perfect festive bird as they're at their fattest and most delicious in the run-up to Christmas. Their fat is softer than most other eating birds and melts at a lower temperature, making it particularly moist and unctuous. The melted fat is perfect for making roast potatoes and should definitely be saved for the purpose. When choosing a roast goose, hear in mind that it's a far bonier bird than a turkey and, weight for weight, it will feed fewer people.

A 4.5kg goose will feed six people, whereas a 6kg bird will feed 8-10. You may need to order your goose in advance from your butcher, although some supermarkets will be stocking them this year. A good goose has pale, unblemished skin with a good layer of fat beneath.

Take your goose out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking, to make sure it is at room temperature. Remove the giblets and set them aside, but don't cut the trussing strings as they'll help to maintain the goose's shape while it's cooking.

There are two large lobes of fat inside the cavity that need to be removed before cooking; they can be rendered down to cook your roasties in. Save the giblets for gravy making, but remember to remove the liver as this can be incredibly bitter.

Goose roasting times

4.5kg: 1.5–2 hours
5kg: 2–2.5 hours
5.5kg: 2.5–3 hours
6kg: 3–3.5 hours

There are plenty of celebrity chef roast goose recipes to choose from. The Hairy Bikers serve theirs with apples and rich cider gravy, while Raymond Blanc ensures that the breast doesn't dry out by roasting the legs separately.

Your leftover goose can be stored in the fridge for up to four days, or frozen for up to three months. The breast of the goose is best eaten cold as it can dry out when reheated - it's the perfect accompaniment. 

If you have a passionate chef to shop for this season or fancy treating yourself, The Christmas Roast Dinner Box contains everything you need to bring some unique flavours to the main event. Our Roast Turkey Rub is delicious on all poultry and game, including goose. The box also contains Roast Potato Oil, a Pigs In Blankets Dust and a Brussels Sprout Dust.

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