Maple-glazed roast goose

Maple-glazed roast goose
  • Serves icon Serves 6-8
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1½ hours, oven time 1¾-2¼ hours, plus 1-2 days air drying (see Debbie’s tips)

Debbie Major’s maple-glazed roast goose recipe is served with a chestnut stuffing and sticky apples and pears.

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Nutrition: per serving

41.5g (15.3g saturated)
60.6g (46.7g sugars)
41.5g (15.3g saturated)
60.6g (46.7g sugars)

For 8 servings


  • 4.5kg oven-ready goose with neck and giblets (see Debbie’s tips)
  • Small bunch fresh bay leaves and thyme sprigs
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

For the gravy

  • 100g smoked free-range bacon rashers or lardons, chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 small carrot, roughly chopped
  • ½ leek, roughly chopped
  • A few black peppercorns
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 150ml ruby port

For the stuffing

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 100g unsmoked free-range streaky bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ruby port
  • 500g free-range fatty pork mince (ideally from the belly)
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 100g soft pitted prunes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cox apple, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
  • 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp each chopped fresh thyme and sage leaves
  • 200g cooked peeled chestnuts, coarsely chopped

For the sticky apples and pears

  • 6-8 small cox apples, peeled, halved and cored
  • 6 small conference pears, peeled, halved and cored
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 3 tbsp light soft brown sugar


  1. For the gravy stock (see make ahead), separate the giblets from the goose, then set the liver aside for the stuffing. Cut the neck into 5 or 6 pieces (see food team’s tip). Remove the clumps of fat from inside the goose, then heat 2 tbsp in a frying pan (set any leftover fat aside for roast potatoes; see Debbie’s tips). Fry the neck and the rest of the giblets until browned. Add the smoked bacon and fry until golden. Add the small onion, carrot and leek, then fry until they colour. Add the peppercorns, 4 bay leaves and 1.2 litres water. Bring to a simmer and cook without a lid for 1 hour. Strain and taste – if it’s watery, simmer again vigorously until well flavoured, then set aside (see Make Ahead).
  2. To make the stuffing, melt the 50g butter in a pan, then add the onion and garlic. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes or until soft and lightly browned. Add the leek, then cover again and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. Tip into a large bowl to cool. Chop the reserved goose liver, then add to the bowl with the remaining stuffing ingredients and lots of salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands (see Debbie’s tips), then cover and chill until needed (see make ahead).
  3. To roast the bird, heat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Season the cavity, then push in the bay and thyme. Spoon some stuffing into the neck end, then fold over the skin and secure on the underside with 2 skewers. Tie the bird into a neat shape with cook’s string, then sprinkle the outside with salt. Put on a large wire rack in a roasting tin, then roast for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and pour the fat into a bowl (see Debbie’s tips and video below). Turn the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4, then return the goose to the oven and roast for a further 1 hour (pour off more fat after 30 minutes).
  5. Meanwhile, break the remaining stuffing into 75g lumps and roll into balls with lightly oiled hands. Put on a lightly oiled baking tray. For the sticky apples and pears, toss the fruit in a bowl with the nutmeg, cloves, sugar and some seasoning.
  6. Take the goose out of the oven and pour off any fat from the tin. Remove the wire rack and sit the goose in the tin. Brush the skin with the maple syrup, then scatter the apples and pears around the bird. Roast for a final 15-30 minutes until the juices from the goose run clear when the thickest part of the leg is pierced (a digital probe thermometer pushed into the breast should read 65-70°C); see Knowhow. Meanwhile, cook the stuffing balls for 25-30 minutes until golden and an inserted digital probe thermometer reads 70°C.
  7. Pour the juices from the cavity of the cooked goose into a bowl, then rest the bird on a carving board, covered loosely with foil, for 20 minutes. Turn the oven up to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6, then return the tin containing the apples and pears to the oven until caramelised and tender.
  8. For the gravy, skim the fat off the stock’s surface. Melt the 25g butter in a pan. Stir in the flour, then gradually add the port, stock and cooking juices from the goose. Simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced and well flavoured. Taste, season and keep hot.
  9. To carve the goose, remove the string and spoon the stuffing from the neck cavity into a warmed serving bowl. Slice off the legs, cut in half at the joint, then slice off the meat. Cut each breast from the carcass in one whole piece, then carve lengthways into long, thin slices. Arrange the meat on a warm platter, then serve with the sticky apples and pears, stuffing and gravy.

delicious. tips

  1. Bend the goose neck to find the joints, then slice through with a sharp knife. If it’s proving too tricky, fry it whole.

    Debbie’s tips: For a crisp, golden roast goose, choose a mature, dry-plucked bird. It will help if you leave the goose, unwrapped, in the fridge for 24-48 hours, as will sprinkling it generously with salt before roasting in a hot oven.

    Take the chill off the bird by taking it out of the fridge 2 hours before you plan to cook it.

    Gently melt any leftover fat from the uncooked bird (step 1) with 1 tsp sunflower oil. Strain into a bowl, ready to add the fat from the cooked bird; use to roast potatoes.

    To check the stuffing is correctly seasoned, fry a small lump in a little oil until cooked. Taste, then season the rest of the stuffing if required.

    Debbie says: My favourite sides to serve with this dish are braised red cabbage, potatoes cooked in the goose fat and roast carrots.

  2. Make the stock for the gravy up to a week before and keep it in a sterilised jar in the fridge. Or freeze it for up to 3 months and heat from frozen.

    Make the stuffing up to 24 hours in advance, then cover and chill.

  3. These cooking times are for a 4.5kg goose. If your bird is a different weight, allow 13 minutes per 500g.

Recipe By

Debbie Major


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