Citizens, there is perhaps no meal more revered and saturated with tradition than the traditional roast goose traditionally served for Christmas dinner in the U.K.!
Yes, I know it is August and over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in most of the U.S. and Christmas seems an eternity away – all the more reason to post this recipe today!
As noted in the Charles Dickens novel “A Christmas Carol”:
Master Peter and the two ubiquitous young Cratchits went to fetch the goose, with which they soon returned in high procession.
Mrs. Cratchit made the gravy (ready beforehand in a little saucepan) hissing hot; Master Peter mashed the potatoes with incredible vigor; Miss Belinda sweetened up the apple-sauce; Martha dusted the hot plates; Bob took Tiny Tim beside him in a tiny corner at the table; the two young Cratchits set chairs for everybody, not forgetting themselves, and mounting guard upon their posts, crammed spoons into their mouths, lest they should shriek for goose before their turn came to be helped.
At last the dishes were set on, and grace was said. It was succeeded by a breathless pause, as Mrs. Cratchit, looking slowly all along the carving-knife, prepared to plunge it in the breast; but when she did, and when the long-expected gush of stuffing issued forth, one murmur of delight arose all round the board, and even Tiny Tim, excited by the two young Cratchits, beat on the table with the handle of his knife, and feebly cried, Hurrah!
There never was such a goose. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness, were the themes of universal admiration. Eked out by apple-sauce and mashed potatoes, it was a sufficient dinner for the whole family; indeed, as Mrs Cratchit said with great delight (surveying one small atom of a bone upon the dish), they hadn’t ate it all at last! Yet every one had had enough, and the youngest Cratchits in particular, were steeped in sage and onion to the eyebrows!
As further expounded on foodreference.com:
For unexplainable reasons, Europeans, particularly north Europeans, have always been fond of goose, whereas in North America the popularity of this fowl is more or less concentrated on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Goose meat is darker (including the breast), fuller bodied, and more intensely flavoured than turkey. It is fatter and more gamy than duck. Of all fowl, goose meat offers the most opportunities to match with wine.
The natural cycle of raising geese is still intact: hatching, between April and July, and slaughter in September.
The U S A is a large producer of geese – California, Pennsylvania, and New York State produce the most. Of course, France produces a lot as does Hungary, Poland and Israel, mostly for foie gras d’oie (fattened goose liver).
For centuries goose fat has been hailed as tasty and texturally rich, the French are famous for their cassoulet using goose fat, parts, beans and vegetables, but most famous of all now is confit of goose or duck.
White English, grey Toulouse and Chinese geese are the most popular with goose farms. Most geese are fed a mixture of corn, wheat and soybeans, although a few farmers feed their animals with vegetables including salads in California.
Citizens, this recipe is a classic for excellent reason – I hope you enjoy the Victorian delights of this magnificent bird!
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
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