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The Golden Rules when Cooking a Christmas Goose

Blog • October 21st 2020

The 5 key points on how to cook and serve a Christmas Goose

The Christmas goose can be the centre piece to any dinner table this festive season. Which is why many want to know how to cook the Christmas meat to perfection to wow all your guests. Our top 5 things to consider are:

  1. If defrosting a free range goose for Christmas, do this in the fridge, not near a radiator or in contact with direct heat. This may take up to 3 days for a large goose so plan ahead.
  2. The giblets and lobes of fat must be removed before roasting your goose.
  3. Plan your oven space well; the bird can be resting up to 1 hour whilst you apply finishing touches to the Christmas feast such as the vegetables and gravy.
  4. Baste the goose frequently whilst roasting; basting will keep the breast meat moist and flavourful to wow guests at the table.
  5. Choose the right accompaniments to enhance the natural beauty of the goose. Fruity-based condiments work really well, paired with festive devils on horseback, a PX sherry and chestnut sauce, or a simple Granny Smiths apple relish for the perfect Christmas goose.

Preparing your Christmas Goose

Preparation is the key to success. Especially when you consider cooking a Christmas goose. (If you haven't chosen which meat to have for Christmas yet, look to our guide.) To get you started you will need to ensure you have a large roasting tin at the ready. Goose is a wonderful meat to enjoy and keeping the following elements in mind, you can't go wrong on the big day:

  • To start, remove the two large lobes of fat just at the opening of the chamber if that has not already been done. Simply remove with your hands and reserve - this fat adds great flavour when roasting to a variety of meats or it can be rendered down for frying or roasting.
  • To render, slowly melt then simmer the fat over a low heat; then cool, strain and keep in the fridge for up to 3 months following Christmas.
  • Remember to remove the giblets from the cavity; often there in a plastic bag, this must be removed before roasting.
  • The giblets make great stock for Christmas gravy, or they can be poached in the goose fat until tender and rich to create confit before frying over high heat. These are a favourite on the continent served on toast with chopped parsley and garlic.
  • Your goose has a deep layer of fat under the skin which will need to be released when roasting. To achieve this, simply pierce the skin all over using a toothpick concentrating around the area between the breast and legs.
  • To achieve crisp fat, I recommend starting the day before roasting. Scald the bird over a sink on a wire rack with 2 or 3 kettles of boiling water slowly poured over the bird, pat dry, then leave uncovered in the fridge overnight.
  • Roast the goose on a trivet of vegetables or a wire rack in the roasting tin so the goose doesn't boil in its own fat. The trivet makes a base for superb gravy to serve alongside your Christmas dinner.

How to Cook Christmas Goose

One of the most important elements to get right with a Christmas goose is cooking it properly. We have an 8 step guide to help you master the craft:

  1. On the day of roasting, massage with fine sea salt and a little oil and bring to room temperature.
  2. Preheat your oven to 160°C for fan assisted or 180°C for ovens without a fan (gas 4).
  3. Place the goose breast side up on a trivet of chopped onion, carrot and apples in a large, heavy-based roasting tray, with deep sides and handles for easy movement.
  4. Place the tray in the centre of the oven and roast for 20 minutes per 500g basting the goose with its own fat as it roasts.
  5. To finish, increase the oven to 210°C for fan assisted or 230°C for ovens without a fan (gas 8) and roast for an additional 15 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and crisp.
  6. The core temperature should read a minimum 65°C before resting.
  7. Remove from the oven, drain away excess fat reserving for another use, and place the goose onto a clean tray and keep warm by covering with a sheet of foil.
  8. Rest for a minimum of 30 minutes before carving for one special Christmas feast.

Approximate times for your Whole Christmas Goose

We have done the hard work for you and you can find the cooking times for a whole Christmas goose below:

4-4.5 kg = 3 hours
5-5.5 kg = 3 ½ hours
6 kg = 4 hours

A top tip to ensuring your Christmas goose cooks evenly, is working out the cooking time based on the weight of the bird. Doing this will help to provide a succulent piece of meat which everyone can enjoy.

Farmison & Co Christmas Goose

Christmas goose is magnificent, richly satisfying and ideal for a traditional Christmas dinner. Our free range goose meat has a darker colour and a much richer flavour than that of other poultry. Our free-range geese plump up naturally on a hearty diet in the great outdoors ready for Christmas delivery. Each is handpicked to ensure ample breast meat, before being expertly prepared, leaving the whole bird intact and game hung, with the giblets. Goose is typically more prized than turkey, they take a lot more food to fatten, but the reward is delicious rich meat.

Discover our full Christmas meat range which includes succulent free-range beef, lamb and mutton. Whatever meat you cook for the dinner table this Christmas, enjoy high quality produce with Farmison & Co.