Blog: Go on! Give goose a chance!
Published on February 18, 2014
My Matt Wright
Left: Geese at Lings View Farm, Croxton Kerrial, Leics
Eating goose has a rich heritage in Britain and not just at Christmas. Nottingham’s famous Goose Fair dates back to the 13th century and has its origins in the annual drive of geese flocks – shod in tar to protect their feet – from their rearing place in Lincolnshire to be sold at market. And for years – farmed mainly in Lincs, Suffolk and Norfolk – geese have provided us Brits with meat, fat, feathers and, more surprisingly, ink quills. Today I expect that by far the biggest-selling goose product is fat – sold in jars in supermarkets to cater for home cooks following Nigella, Jamie or Gordon’s roast spuds recipes.
But why not get back in touch with the British tradition of eating goose? A quick chat with your local butcher will probably yield results, while the British Goose Producers’ website lists the contact details of many small producers, from the Isle of Lewis to Tiverton, who will sell you oven-ready geese. I discovered that my nearest goose producer is located just 10 miles away from my home in Melton Mowbray. I bet yours is equally close.
To cook your oven-ready goose (literally, not metaphorically), prick its skin and rub salt and pepper all over the bird. Stuff with your favourite stuffing and stick it in the oven covered with foil. Cook for 15 minutes per 450g, plus a further 20 minutes, at Gas Mark 6 (200C). Baste after one hour, then pour off surplus fat into a container (that’ll be for your roasties). For the last 45 minutes uncover the bird and baste again, pouring off more surplus fat. Rest for 20 minutes before carving.
Sources: The Goose Fat Information Service and British Goose Producers Website.