Goose ruled the roost in Europe before turkey conquered the holiday table.
On Christmas eve, this recipe by Kurt Gutenbrunner from his more than a cookbook Neue Cuisine, the Elegant Tastes of Vienna (Rizzoli New York, Fall 2011) could help a few of you who picked a goose as their bird of choice.
1 goose (10 to 12 pounds), giblets, neck, and wing tips reserved
3 carrots, cut into 1-inch dice
6 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch dice
3 onions, 1 quartered,
2 cut into 1-inch dice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 apple, quartered
1 orange, quartered (with skin)
12 thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons canola oil
Reserved giblets, neck, and wing tips from the goose
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup ice cubes
2 thyme sprigs
2 rosemary sprigs
Everybody likes a roast turkey for the holidays, and in Austria, we also enjoy a fat goose. Usually we serve it roasted on Christmas Day and also on November 11th, St. Martin’s Day, which is why it’s sometimes called Martini Gans. It really is a festive dish to serve friends and family.
1 Using paper towels, pat the goose dry inside and out. Set it in a roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
2 The next day, remove the goose from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 1 hour. If the bird is still moist, pat it dry inside and out with paper towels.
3 Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large roasting pan, scatter the carrots, celery, and onions.
4 Generously season the inside of the goose with salt and pepper and stuff it with the apple, orange, quartered onion, and thyme. Prick the skin of the goose all over. Season the outside of the bird with salt and pepper. Truss it (see Tips) and set it directly on top of the vegetables. Add 1/2 inch of hot water to the pan.
5 Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and roast the goose until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 165 to 180 degrees and the juices run clear, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove the fat from the pan with a bulb baster as necessary, and reserve the fat for the braised cabbage, if making it. If the skin is not crisp, increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees and roast for 10 minutes more. Transfer the goose to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 30 minutes.
6 Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a large casserole, heat the oil until smoking. Add the giblets, neck, and wing tips and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the giblets, neck, and wing tips to a bowl. Pour off most of the fat in the pot.
7 Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the wine and ice cubes and cook, scraping up the browned bits stuck to the bottom, until almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Return the giblets, neck, and wing tips to the pot and add enough water to cover the ingredients by 2 inches. Add the thyme and rosemary and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 1 hour.
8 Strain the stock into a large bowl; discard the solids. Return the stock to the pot and boil over high heat until it’s flavorful and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
9 Discard the apple, orange, onion, and thyme in the goose’s cavity. Carve the goose and serve with the sauce.
Goose is typically very fatty; air-drying it and pricking the skin before roasting helps release the fat and ensures delicious golden skin. You can use the trussing needle to poke the skin, or a paring knife or skewer.
To truss the goose, thread a trussing needle with kitchen string. Turn the goose breast side down on a work surface. Push the needle through 1 wing, the shoulders, and the skin of the neck, and then through the other wing. Turn the goose over and push the needle though 1 leg, the body, and the other leg. Pull the string tight and tie the ends over the wings into a tight knot.
Braised Red Cabbage (page 151) and Baked Marzipan-Stuffed Apples (page 149) are the perfect accompaniment.
Other traditional side dishes include roasted chestnuts or apples, Bread Dumplings in a Napkin (page 160), and Celery Root Puree (page 152).
The goose is refrigerated overnight before roasting to dry it slightly and produce crisp skin when roasted, so plan accordingly.
(* Recipe by Kurt Gutenbrunner from 'Neue Cuisine, the Elegant Tastes of Vienna' (Rizzoli New York-Fall 2011- Photo by Ellen Silverman, all rights rerserved)