Tired of turkey? Perhaps it’s time to consider another bird this festive season. Did you know that the goose is actually our traditional Christmas bird? Despite families becoming accustomed to placing their order for the perfect Christmas turkey, geese were the original British tradition until Edward VII made turkey the more fashionable choice.
This is a particularly good recipe for goose. This is a slightly more expensive bird to buy, but nothing beats its crispy skin, the unique velvety texture of its stock and the assertive taste of Armagnac brandy. Over the years, Brandy Roast Goose has become a favourite amongst the chefs of Berts Jazz Bar; so take home a taste of Berts and recapture the flavours of a Victorian Christmas.
· 1 onion
· 1 6kg goose with giblets
· 2 celery hearts
· 1 garlic bulb
· 2 bay leaves
· 6 thyme sprigs
· 10 sage leaves
· 500ml Armagnac brandy
· 500ml chicken stock
· 200ml port
· 4tbsp tomato purée
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
2. Setting aside the giblets, season the goose with salt on the skin and inside the cavity and place it on the roasting tray, preferably with a wire rack to let the heat circulate and allow the fat to drain off.
3. Place it in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the bird is well browned and the fat has started to render down.
4. Remove from the oven and turn the oven down to 160°C. Carefully pour off the fat, saving it for your roast potatoes.
5. Pour a quarter of the brandy over the bird then return it to the oven. Cook for a further 150 minutes, splashing more brandy over the skin every 30 minutes.
6. Gently sweat the giblets with the onions, celery and garlic until caramelised and then add the tomato purée followed by the herbs, bay leaf and port.
7. Reduce by two thirds, and add the stock. Reduce until it thickens and then strain through a sieve.
8. Take the goose out and let it rest whilst covered in tin foil for at least 30 minutes. This will help the juices to flow back into the meat, resulting in a moist texture.
Top tip- Before carving, pour some brandy into a ladle, light it and gently pour it over the goose to impress your guests.