If you’ve never had roast goose before, it’s an absolute must. This method is reliable and will give you an experience you definitely won’t forget, whether it’s the first meal from it, or using up the lovely leftovers it gives you (if there are any!).
Total time: 3 hours 30 minutes
1 large goose (4–5kg), halved lengthways by your butcher
6cm piece of ginger
6 large sticks of cinnamon
6 star anise
2 teaspoons whole cloves
Red wine vinegar
Get your meat out of the fridge and up to room temperature before you cook it. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Peel and finely slice the ginger, then, keeping everything quite coarse, lightly crush it in a pestle and mortar with the cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Rub into the skin of the goose halves, then put both halves skin side up in your biggest deep-sided roasting tray and drizzle with a little oil. Roast for 3 hours (depending on the size of your goose), basting every hour. After the goose has been in for 2 hours, slice the oranges and carefully add to the tray.
The goose is cooked when the leg meat falls easily off the bone. Now you’ve got two choices. Leave it to rest, covered, for 30 minutes, then serve up while it’s hot and crispy-skinned, in which case simply remove the meat to a board, shred the leg meat and slice the breast. Pour all the fat into a jar, cool, and place in the fridge for tasty cooking another day. Stir a good swig of vinegar into the tray to pick up all the sticky goodness from the base, then drizzle over your meat. Serve with spuds, veg and all the usual trimmings.
Your second choice is to let everything cool in the tray, then place it in the fridge for up to 2 days, with the goose submerged and protected in its own fat, ready to reheat when you need it, getting you ahead of the game and saving you time and oven space another day. To reheat, put the whole tray back in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and let the goose crisp up for around 30 minutes, or until hot through, then shred, slice and serve as above.
Love your leftovers
They’ll be delicious shredded into a salad or stew, or used in place of leftover turkey meat. Blitz any leftover skin with breadcrumbs, then toast, and use as an epic sprinkle.
(Calories 487kcal, Fat 34.4g, Sat fat 10.5g, Protein 43.5g, Carbs 1.8g, Sugars 1.8g, Salt 0.6g, Fibre 0.5g)
Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook is published by Penguin Random House ⓒ Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2016 Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook). Photographer: David Loftus