Golden rules for cooking a Christmas goose

If you’re opting for this alternative, darker meat for your festive centrepiece this year, make sure you’re clued up with our top tips on cooking the perfect Christmas goose.

Golden rules for cooking a Christmas goose

Although many of us associate a traditional Christmas dinner with a roast turkey, Christmas goose is becoming a more popular option amongst families and chefs alike. Its tasty, darker meat yields the most wonderful rich gravy and let’s not forget the unbeatable crispiness of those golden potatoes roasted in goose fat.

Have a read through our expert advice for when it comes to – you guessed it – roasting your way to a glorious dinner.

What’s the best way to roast a goose?

Roast the bird in a pre-heated oven 200ºC/ 180ºC fan / gas 6. It’s best to do this on a rack above a roasting tray, so you can catch the fat and juices during the cooking process, for using in the gravy, later.

For a bird of around 4kg (total weight once stuffed), cook for about 2 hours 45 minutes. Cover the bird with foil for about half the cooking time. Then, uncover to allow the skin to become golden and crisp.

Do you stuff the goose before, after, or not at all…?

If you’re roasting the whole goose as one, we would recommend stuffing the cavity with orange and fresh rosemary.

How do you know when a goose is cooked? 

To check your goose is fully cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the stuffed goose – if the juices run clear, it’s done. If you like to use a thermometer, the bird should have a core temperature of 70ºC.

Is there a welfare standard to look for when it comes to cooking goose?

Look for suppliers of organic and free-range turkeys. If in doubt, we’d also recommend asking your local butcher for advice. They’re the experts after all!


What’s the best gravy to serve with it?

I recommend using the juices collected during roasting, adding a splash of port and finishing off with redcurrants or pomegranate.

Is there a failsafe way to carve? 

You can really help make carving easy by allowing the bird to rest. If you can, plan in a resting time for a minimum of 45 mins, and this will help the perfection of carving.

What to do with leftover goose fat?

Goose fat is rich in flavour and often used when making crispy roast potatoes. Find out how you can use up leftover goose fat in your cooking here.

Learn how to roast a goose with our how-to video…

With thanks to Stuart Cauldwell, head chef at Borough Market’s Roast restaurant, for his expert tips on roasting a Christmas goose. 

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