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Traditional Roast Goose with Apples

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3-4Kg oven ready goose
13g (¼oz) butter
150g sliced onions
150g sliced carrots

1 lemon, halved
Salt and pepper to taste
1 celery stick
1.1 litres (2 pints) of water
8 medium cooking apples, cored
100g (4oz) cranberries
1 tbsp light brown sugar

225g sliced onions
40g (1½oz) butter

3 tbsps of dried sage
1 tbsp of fresh parsley
75g (3oz) breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional- chopped goose liver
N.B. Items in bold are available from all MF outlets.

Start off with the breadcrumbs. The best breadcrumbs can be made from two-day old white loaf. Remove the crusts and then grate or use a food processor. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the onions and cook until they are transparent, if you like include the chopped goose liver and fry with the onions until cooked. Then add the herbs, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper. Mix well and then set-aside until ready to stuff the goose.

The goose should be thoroughly defrosted and left at room temperature for at least 3 hours before cooking. Remove the giblets (which include the liver) from the goose and set aside. Wash the bird thoroughly inside and out pat dry with a kitchen towel and remove any loose pieces of fat. Then rub the lemon inside and out of the bird. Mix the salt and pepper and rub into the skin of the bird to season.

To make a giblet stock for the gravy, put the giblets in a pan with the onion, carrot, celery and 1.1 litres (2 pints) of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about one hour. Strain and allow to cool until needed.

Preheat the oven to 220ºC (425F/Gas 7). Spoon the stuffing into the neck end of the goose and then tuck the neck flap over the stuffing and fasten either with a skewer or by sewing it. Then pack the stuffing into the tail end and then truss the bird with the wings folded under the body and legs tied together with string. Lightly prick the skin of the bird with a fork to allow the meat juices to be released in the cooking process. Place the goose breast side up on a rack in the roasting tin and into the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 180ºC (350F/Gas 4) and turn the bird breast side down and continue cooking for approximately 3 hours. Shape the remainder of the stuffing into balls and reserve for later.

In the meantime cut tiny slits into the skin of the cored apples. Then stuff the apples with the cranberries and place in a shallow baking dish. Dot the apples using half the butter, and sprinkle a tablespoon of the sugar over them. Leave aside until needed. About 1¼ hours before the end of the goose roasting time, you will want to place your roast potatoes in the oven. About 30 minutes before the roasting time is up, place the stuffing balls into the oven to cook followed by the stuffed apples 10 minutes later.

To test if the goose is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear it is ready, if not return to the oven for a little longer. Leave the goose to stand for about 20 minutes to rest, which allows the flesh to firm up, making carving easier. Remember to save the pan juices for the gravy.

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