5kg free-range goose (ask the butcher to give you the neck bone)
250g soft pitted prunes, chopped
350g (about 2-3) Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped
4 streaky bacon rashers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 tbsp brandy
150ml red wine
500ml chicken stock, hot
1. The day before cooking, pierce the skin of the goose all over with the point of a sharp knife. Place the bird in a clean sink and pour over a kettle of boiling water. Pat dry with kitchen paper and chill overnight in the fridge, uncovered, to dry out. This will create lovely crisp skin and juicy flesh.
2. Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Mix the prunes and apples together, season well and use to stuff the cavity of the goose. Close the cavity with a small metal skewer.
3. Rub sea salt and black pepper into the skin, place on a rack in a large roasting tin and roast for 30 minutes.
4. Turn the oven down to 180°C/fan160°/gas 4 and cook the goose for another 1½ hours or until the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted between the leg and the breast. Drain off the excess fat in the bottom of the tin every 30 minutes and reserve.
5. About 15 minutes before the end of cooking, carefully pour a ladleful of cold water over the bird. This will help to crisp up the skin. When cooked, rest for 15 minutes before carving.
6. While the goose cooks, make the gravy. Heat 1 tbsp of the reserved goose fat in a small pan, add the bacon and fry until golden. Add the veg and neck bone and fry until well coloured. Add the brandy, port and wine and bubble over a high heat for 10 minutes. Add the stock and simmer for 20 minutes until flavoursome. Add more stock or water if need be, plus any juices from the roasting tin. Strain into a jug, scooping off any excess fat.
7. Serve slices of goose with the Spiced red cabbage and Hasselback potatoes (see recipes, opposite), the stuffing, and lashings of gravy.
- Strain the warm, leftover goose fat into sterilised jars. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 months to use for roasting potatoes and other vegetables.
- Red Bordeaux is the classic match for roast goose. But as the stuffing is fruity-sweet, try an off-dry white wine, such as Vouvray.