Saturday, December 27, 2014

My Goose is Cooked

Remember these guys?:

They grew up to look like this:

And one of them was the main feature of our Christmas dinner.

None of us had ever eaten goose before (duck, pheasant, squirrel, bear, and elk, yes, but not goose) so to say we were a little nervous when we sat down to the table on Christmas would be an understatement.

A nice, browned, roasted goose, mashed potatoes, slow-cooked green beans (w/bacon, onion, garlic, chicken broth, and tomato sauce) and applesauce were laid out on the table in front of us.  Every single dish made with ingredients we had raised (or, in the case of the bacon, that Mother-in-Law had raised).  It was a pretty cool realization that we had brought about this meal not with our pocketbooks and grocery shopping skills, but with our own hands and labor.

But still, we were a bit intimidated by the thought of eating that goose.  Goose.  New territory.  Was it going to be edible, or awful?

Then we each took our first bites. And declared that goose needs to become a staple of our diet.

The flavor and texture are hard to describe.  Goose makes a lot of grease (it should be cooked on a rack in a roasting pan, but I couldn't find mine, so I just sucked the grease out with a baster every half hour or so); yet it is not a fatty, greasy meat like bear.  It is all dark meat, unlike chicken or turkey which provide both light and dark meat on the same bird.  It has a rich flavor, somewhat like chicken livers in certain muscles.  And the texture is very firm, sort of like beef.

Of course, different methods of cooking might produce different results on the texture, but I still think it is totally unlike the texture of other poultry such as turkey and chicken.  I roasted my goose in the oven, with a mixture of sage, thyme, salt, and pepper.

The grease I had taken from the pan during roasting I saved, added water, salt, pepper, and a little cornstarch, and made a very delicious gravy with.  Goose gravy!  Have you ever heard of such a thing?!?

We had a fair amount of meat left on the carcass at the end of our Christmas dinner, so I saved it in the fridge and made goose soup for dinner yesterday.  I couldn't find a recipe using a whole goose; most I saw called for deboning the goose before putting in the soup pot--probably because the goose is too long to fit in a pot (I cracked the carcass in half and stuffed it in my 8qt pot), so I just used pretty much the same recipe as when I make chicken or turkey soup from carcasses.  Water, salt, pepper, sage, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder and the carcass brought to a boil, then simmered until the meat falls off the bones.  Remove bones, add a few diced carrots and potatoes, a chopped up stalk of celery, more water if needed, and a double handful of egg noodles.  Once the veggies are soft, it's ready to eat.

Roasted goose, goose gravy, and goose soup.  I foresee more goslings arriving at this little place here in the spring, for more future goose dinners next fall and winter!

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