Christmas roast goose
- November 2023
- Serves 6 with leftovers
- Hands-on time 30 min. Oven time 3 hours 10 min, plus 1 hour resting
Make roast goose the star of Christmas dinner. Roasting the legs separately ensures everything is perfectly cooked, while the long resting time frees up the oven and allows the meat to retain its juiciness. The goose can be prepared up to step 4 a day ahead and the spice rub adds aromatic flavour to the meat.
Make this roast goose as part of our zero-waste Christmas dinner for six. The wings and giblets make a fantastic base for goose gravy and the goose liver can be used to make stuffing.
- 54g (17g saturated)
- 1.5g (1.2g sugars)
- 5kg free-range goose, with giblets
- 300g shallots
- 3 rosemary sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
For the spice rub
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked (reserve the stalks)
- 3 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked (reserve the stalks)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 tsp sea salt flakes
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tsp caraway seeds
- Sit the bird breast-side up on a large board. Find the giblets, liver and neck bone (usually these are within the cavity) and put in the fridge. Start by removing the legs. Use a sharp boning knife or strong knife to cut through the skin between the thigh and body. Pull back the leg and use a bit of force to twist/pop open the leg joint (it lies quite far underneath the bird, beneath the backbone). Cut between the joint and remove the leg. Repeat with the other leg.
- Turn the bird over so it’s breast-side down on the board. Find one of the wing joints under the front of the breast (they’re also quite deep within the bird, by the backbone). Pull the wing back to pop open the joint, then cut between the body and wing to remove it. Repeat with the other wing.
- Trim away and reserve any excess skin and fat from the front end of the crown, along the base of the breast bone. You should now have a trimmed crown, 2 legs, 2 wings, some fat and skin trimmings. Put the crown and legs back in the fridge until Christmas Day, or ready to roast; they can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead. Keep the excess skin and fat in the fridge to render down to make goose fat for cooking side dishes; reserve and chill the wings and giblets to make goose gravy. The liver can be used to make goose liver and sausagemeat stuffing.
- Trim and peel the shallots, reserving any trimmings and peel in a bowl for the gravy. Keep the shallots in an airtight container in the fridge. Make the spice rub by crushing all the ingredients with a pestle and mortar or whizzing in a spice grinder. Store in an airtight container.
- On Christmas morning, or when ready to roast, heat the oven to 140°C fan/gas 3. Put the goose legs in a large roasting tin. Massage half the spice rub into the skin of the legs. Cover the tin tightly with foil, then roast for 2 hours, opening the foil, basting halfway through, then closing the foil again.
- While the legs cook, remove the crown from the fridge and use the tip of a small sharp knife to lightly score the skin in a crisscross pattern. Massage the remaining spice rub into the crown, then leave the bird to lose some of its fridge-coldness.
- When the legs have cooked for 2 hours, remove the foil from the tin and pour most of the fat into a heatproof bowl (to use for the roast potatoes). Push the legs to one side in the tin, then add the shallots, thyme stalks, rosemary and remaining 2 bay leaves. Sit the goose crown on top and baste with some of the fat. Roast for 35 minutes.
- Scoop out and reserve some more of the goose fat, then turn up the oven to 200°C fan/gas 7. Roast for another 35 minutes, basting with the fat in the tin a few more times. When it’s cooked, the crown should reach 75°C on a thermometer at its thickest point.
- Transfer the crown, legs and confit shallots to a tray or lipped board, cover with a loose foil tent and rest for 1 hour. Use the tin to make the gravy.
- To carve, pull the meat away from the legs. Cut the 2 breasts off the carcass, then slice so each piece gets a tiny bit of skin. Serve the meat on a bed of the shallots, with the herbs from the tray and, if you’re making the accompanying roast carrots and parsnips as part of our zero-waste Christmas dinner, half a caramelised orange.
Don’t waste it You’ll probably have leftover goose fat at the end but it’ll keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a few weeks, so use it instead of oil in other cooking. Freeze the carcass and bones after eating to make stock.
Rate & review
Or, how about...?
Red cabbage recipes
Braised red cabbage with pickled walnuts and tarragon
Red cabbage is an essential element of the festive plate,...
Subscribe to our magazine
Food stories, skills and tested recipes, straight to your door... Enjoy 5 issues for just £5 with our special introductory offer.Subscribe
Unleash your inner chef
Looking for inspiration? Receive the latest recipes with our newsletter