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Slow-roast goose with honey & calvados-stuffed apples
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Whole Free-Range Christmas Goose, giblets removed and set aside
2 tsp salt
10 shallots, halved
1 head garlic, smashed with the back of a knife
2 x 500g Heston from Waitrose Chicken Stock
2 tbsp clear honey
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp cornflour
For the stuffed apples
100ml calvados, warmed until hot but not boiling
2 shallots, finely chopped
50g fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp clear honey
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cloves garlic, crushed
6 sage leaves, very finely chopped
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp goose fat from the bird during cooking
8 Pink Lady apples (about 1.2kg), cored and lightly scored horizontally around the middle
1. Preheat the oven to 120ºC, gas mark 1/2. Season the untrussed goose generously all over with 2 tsp salt and remove any extra fat inside the cavity. Set the goose breast-side down in a large empty roasting tray – legs and back facing upwards. Roast for 3 hours.
2. Place all the giblets except for the liver (see cook’s tip) in a small roasting tin with the shallots and garlic. Moisten with a little fat from the goose as it cooks, then roast in the oven under the goose for the rest of the cooking time.
3. Meanwhile, soak the sultanas for the stuffed apples in the hot calvados for 30 minutes. Put the soaked sultanas into a large bowl with the shallots, breadcrumbs, honey, cinnamon, garlic, sage and lemon zest.
4. When the bird has been cooking for 3 hours, remove it from the oven and close the door. Carefully drain and keep all the fat from the roasting tin. Turn the bird breast-side up. Moisten the apple stuffing mixture with 1 tbsp of the goose fat and stuff the apples. Add the stuffed apples to the roasting tin next to the goose, before returning it to the oven for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, turn the heat up to 220ºC, gas mark 7 and roast for a further 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
5. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Put the browned giblets, shallots and garlic into a medium saucepan with the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until reduced. Strain through a sieve and discard all but the liquid. Return the stock to a clean pan. Next add the calvados, honey and some seasoning. Mix the cider vinegar with the cornflour and once combined, whisk into the stock. Boil for a few minutes until thickened. Serve the cooked goose with the stuffed apples and a little gravy. This goes beautifully with roast potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
The goose liver is one of the greatest treats from this beautiful bird. The best way to enjoy it is simply to fry in a little goose fat until browned and cooked through, then finish with a little sherry vinegar to deglaze the pan. Spread on a piece of toast with plenty of seasoning. Add a little membrillo (quince paste) too, if you like sweet and savoury combinations.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in November 2019.