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Best day-ahead goose
main courses | serves 8
Cooking this the day before means I’m free to focus on the turkey on Christmas Day. Don’t think that it compromises the meal, or the taste of the meat. Tossing the meat in the fat from the pan helps keep it moist until the next day. When you reheat it you’ll have super crispy, delicious meat. You’re going to cook down most of the fat. Pop a few rosemary and sage leaves into jars with the leftover fat – you’ll be able to use that over the next few months to add incredible flavour to roast spuds, soups, stews and pastas.
1. Rub a few good pinches of five-spice and sea salt flakes all over the goose, both inside and out, and leave covered in the fridge for a few hours or overnight if you can. I find this helps the flavour really get in, and gives you wonderful crisp skin when cooked.
2. The day before Christmas, preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Halve 2 of the clementines and pop them inside the goose. Finely grate the ginger onto a board and pick the leaves from the rosemary. Drizzle and toss with olive oil, then put inside the goose. Drizzle olive oil over the goose, rubbing in well, then wrap the legs in tinfoil to stop them from burning. Prick the fatty lump above the goose’s cavity with a sharp knife to help the fat melt out.
3. Next, place your goose, breast-side up, on to the bars of the middle shelf in the oven, and place a wide roasting tray (about 5cm deep) on the shelf below the bird to catch the fat as it drips. Roast for about 3–4 hours – you want the skin to be crisp and the meat to be cooked through, easy to shred and meltingly tender. Once your goose is cooked, move it a board and cover with foil. Leave to rest for 1 hour or so. Turn the oven off, but leave the tray of fat in there. Once the meat is cool enough to handle, pull the legs and wings off and shred the meat with 2 forks, the way they do in Chinese restaurants, discarding any bones or gristle. Carve off the breasts with a knife then shred the meat. Transfer the meat and skin to a large, deep earthenware dish or bowl as you go.
4. Take out the tray of fat and squeeze the juice of the remaining clementine into it. Rub a clementine half all over the bottom of the tray to help loosen all the sticky goodness. Carefully strain some fat through a sieve into the dish of meat – you need enough to coat the meat. Toss the fat and goose, then scatter over a few sage leaves and press them down so they’re just covered in the fat. Cover and put in the fridge until the next day. Strain the remaining fat into sterilised jars, then store in the fridge to use later.
5. The next day, about half an hour before serving, pop the goose meat into a low oven (about 150C/gas 2) for 20–25 minutes. Once it’s hot, carefully drain away any excess fat and serve on a lovely big platter with a few crispy sage leaves scattered on top.
Recipe Jamie Oliver
Photo Jamie Oliver & David Loftus
from Issue 14
ingredients• 1 goose, approximately 5.5kg, preferably free-range or organic
• Five-spice powder
• Sea salt
• 3 clementines
• 2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger
• 4 sprigs of rosemary
• Olive oil
• Sage leaves