Friday, December 14, 2007

Forget Dickens

What's so good about these indigestible birds? My goose was cooked — and it wasn’t very good. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The principal problem I have with goose - and I've cooked a good number - is that, when all is said and, there isn't a lot of meat to be had from one. So it takes a good deal of effort to make a meal for a relatively small dinner party.

1 comment:

  1. Here's the problem with goose. If what you are envisioning is a crisp-skinned bird on a platter, drumsticks up, you are going to be disappointed with the meal. And yet that's what we properly envision for a holiday feast.

    There is a much better way to prepare goose, but it does not provide the desired centerpiece. Thus the trick is to have a showy entree--a standing rib roast, for example, or a crown roast of pork-- and to use the goose as an alternate choice or to use the meat for a family meal on another day and serve only the goose liver paté and the cracklings as hors d'oeuvres and the borscht (as an appetizer) at the holiday meal.

    How to prepare a goose:

    1. Skin the bird (or two) and render the fat. Cool the fat and save in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last a year without becoming rancid and is the fat of choice for sautéing onions, potatoes, and many other foods. Drain and season the cracklings (ganse griebens [sp?]).

    2. Place a bed of sliced cabbage and thickly sliced onions in the bottom of a deep roasting pan. Add a teaspoon or so of whole peppercorns and some salt. Lay the meaty joints of the bird (legs, boned-out breast) on the vegetables. Add a bit of broth. Roast at a low temperature (like a pot roast) until the meat is as tender as it's likely to get (not very). Baste frequently.

    3. Make a broth from the carcass, one potato, one beet, one carrot, one onion (all cut up), one tomato. Strain broth and use it to make a borscht by cooking a head of shredded cabbage and a couple of sliced onions. Add back any meat picked from the carcass. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.