austrian/ Christmas/ Dinner/ Easter/ meat/ Thanksgiving

Roast goose

8 December 2020 | Last Updated: 25 December 2020

Juicy roast goose with crispy skin, baked with flavorful apple-onion-chestnut stuffing. I served it with braised red cabbage and potato dumplings. This is an amazing dish for a special occasion like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just Sunday dinner. This detailed post will teach you how to bake a great roast goose!

Roast goose on a white plate with apple, orange, and pear quarters scattered around.

Recipe inspiration:

This recipe is based on German / Austrian recipes for roast goose. It is traditionally served for Christmas Eve dinner, along with braised red cabbage and potato dumplings.

What does goose taste like? Goose tastes gamey, it has an intense but wonderful flavor. Its flavor is a little bit more strong than duck‘s flavor. Goose is all dark meat, you could compare its flavor to the beef.

Ingredients:

Goose:

Buying your goose: Geese vary in size, they can weigh between 8-13lbs (3.5-6kg). Smaller geese are usually more tasty and their meat is more delicate. When buying a goose make sure it’s not force-fed.

Herbs that go well with goose: my favorite herbs to rub a goose with are marjoram and thyme. Other herbs that would go well are rosemary and lovage.

How many people will a goose feed? You need to count about 1 lb (500g) per person. This means: 3.5 kg – 4 people, 4.5 kg – 6 people, 6 kg – 8 people.

Stuffing:

I went with classic bread stuffing with apples, onions, chestnuts, eggs, and honey. But if you want a simpler stuffing just take 1 large orange, 2 medium apples, and 1 large onion, cut into quarters, and stuff goose with them. It’s also very delicious. I prefer the bread stuffing as this makes an additional delicious side dish. The goose can be also baked without the stuffing – bake it about 20-30 minutes less (the baking time for my recipe is calculated based on the weight of the goose with the stuffing).

Gravy:

How to make goose gravy: I make the gravy from the pan drippings. Most of the drippings are fat but when you remove most of the fat there are some delicious drippings at the bottom of the pan that make a good gravy. You won’t have lots of gravy though, about 3/4-1 cup. I use dry white wine for acidity, onions, carrots, garlic, and celery for flavor, and fresh herbs – you can use any that you have on hand. I also like to add goose neck – it will add an additional flavor. This is the quickest way to make a sauce, it ‘makes itself’ while the goose is roasting, then it only needs to be thickened. Separating the drippings from the fat will look kind of messy, but believe me, the flavor of this gravy will be amazing!

If you have more time and want to have more gravy, you can make the on the stovetop while the goose is baking. Note that unless you have a really amazing, good-quality broth (the best would be goose or duck broth) this gravy won’t taste as good as the gravy made from the drippings.

How to do it: Heat 1-2 Tbsp of frying oil in a medium pot. Add the goose neck and wing tips. Cook them over high heat until browned. Add roughly chopped: 1 celery rib, 1 medium onion, 2 carrots, 2 whole garlic cloves, and cook them for a couple of minutes until browned. Add 3/4 cup dry white wine, 2 cups goose/duck/chicken broth, a couple of twigs fresh herbs (like rosemary or thyme), and 1/2 teaspoon of tomato paste. Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour, then thicken at the end with flour slurry (2 teaspoons flour mixed with 2 teaspoons water), and season with salt and pepper.

TIP FOR THE BEST GOOSE GRAVY: It would be best to use goose or duck’s broth. You can make it from the roast goose bones and carcass (instructions are at the bottom of the post) and use it for the next roast goose and gravy.

Labeled ingredients for roast goose with stuffing and gravy.

How to roast whole goose step by step:

Prepare the goose:

Thaw the goose: If your goose is frozen, thaw it first in the fridge – this will take about 1,5-2.5 days, depending on the goose weight. Make sure your goose is really defrosted before rubbing it with herbs and baking it or it won’t absorb the flavor properly.

A collage of 3 photos showing how to prepare the goose and rub it with spices.

STEP 1: Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity (they are usually stored inside the goose in a plastic bag), reserve the neck for the gravy. Trim excess fat from the tail. Wash the goose with wet paper towels then pat it dry with dry paper towels (USDA doesn’t recommend washing poultry).

TIP: You could reserve this fat and render it (meaning: heat it until it’s liquid), and use it to make for example goose fat potatoes.

Optionally, chop off the ends of the wings, at the first joint (to prevent burning, this is more necessary for bigger birds). You can also reserve them for the gravy.

Use a tip of a sharp knife to pierce the skin in a couple places around the thighs and the tail, creating tiny exit points for the escaping fat, do not poke or pierce the actual meat.

STEP 2: Rub the goose with the salt and herb mixture.

Make sure to salt it properly. Salt not only seasons the meat but also makes it more tender, it also crisps up the skin. For a 7.7 lbs (3.5 kg) I add about 1.5-2 tablespoons fine sea salt. It may seem like a lot of salt but it also accounts for the salt that is left on your hands after you seasoned the bird.

STEP 3: You should rub the goose on the outside and on the inside.

TIP: Loosen the skin on the breasts and season the breast meat under the skin – this makes it much more aromatic! Goose skin is very thick so these aromatics don’t go through the skin very well.

Note that detaching the goose’s skin is a little bit harder than with chicken or turkey, I usually need to cut with a knife or meat scissors a membrane that is between the skin and the breast then loosen the skin with my hands.

You can also DRY BRINE the goose: For an extra crispy skin and a little more juicy meat, you can leave seasoned goose (with salt and spices) in the fridge for up to 2 days (uncover it for the last night).

Make the stuffing:

A collage of 3 photos showing stuffing preparation steps.

STEP 4: Sautee the onions with butter.

STEP 5: Add the chopped apples, stale dinner rolls, and crushed chestnuts.

STEP 6: Add beaten eggs with honey and spices. Stir everything together and season to taste with salt, and pepper.

Bake the goose:

Goose stuffed with stuffing. Goose's cavity closed with toothpicks.

STEP 7: Stuff the goose with the stuffing.

STEP 8: Close the cavity with toothpicks, so that the filling won’t come out.

Goose in a black baking dish.

How long to bake a goose? I’m using this equation to calculate the baking time (at 350°F/180°C): 18 minutes / 1 lb + 30 minutes or 40 minutes / 1 kg + 30 minutes (baking time with the stuffing).

For a 8-lbs goose this means: (18 minutes x 8-lbs) + 30 minutes = 175 minutes.

What temperature do you cook goose? I like to start with high temperature (450F/230C) – this helps render the fat more quickly, then I lower the temperature to 350F/180C.

STEP 9: Add the vegetables, herbs, wine, and water to the baking dish. Place the goose breast side down on the vegetables and bake it for 30 minutes at 450°F/230°C. Reduce the temperature to 350°F/180°C and bake it for half of the remaining time (based on the calculated baking time).

For extra crispy skin all over the goose, you can bake the goose on a wire rack, it should not touch the liquid in the baking dish. If you don’t have a wire rack that would fit in your baking dish, you can bake the goose on the wire rack that comes with the oven, and place the baking dish on one shelf below, to catch all the fat dripping from the goose. If you have a really large goose there will be a lot of fat!

If you opted for making your gravy on the stove top, you don’t need to add anything to the baking dish. You can place your goose either on some additional vegetables or on a small wire rack (I used my Instant Pot trivet).

It’s important to bake the goose about half of the time with the breast-side down and half of the time with the breast-side up to avoid drying out the breast’s meat.

STEP 10: Turn the goose over (breast-side up). Sprinkle the breast and legs with a little bit more salt (it will help to crisp up the skin). Bake it for the remaining calculated baking time

Make the gravy:

(Note: These steps show how to make gravy from the drippings. If you’d like to make more gravy on the stovetop follow the instructions under the ‘Ingredients’ heading above).

Vegetables and goose neck on a sieve. Goose fat in a pot.

STEP 11: Strain the liquid from the baking dish (discard the neck and vegetables).

STEP 12: Strain all the liquid from the baking dish into a small pot. Most of this liquid is rendered fat. The fat (clear yellow liquid) will be at the top and brown drippings needed for gravy will be at the bottom. Try to collect the fat at the top, first with a ladle (reserve this pure, clear yellow fat for other dishes like goose fat potatoes), then when the yellow fat will start to mix with the brown drippings (I discard this part) tilt the pot slightly and collect this fat with a spoon until you got about 1 cup brown liquid at the bottom of the pot (it will still be rather fatty).

STEP 13: Pour the drippings into a small pot, add flour slurry (flour whisked with 2 teaspoons of cold water). Don’t add your flour directly to the hot drippings otherwise the gravy will be lumpy, always dissolve it first with some water.

STEP 14: Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until thickened.

SERVE: Carve the goose and serve with gravy.

Enjoy!

What to serve with roast goose:

How to make stock from roast goose:

A whole goose is pretty expensive (at least where I live) so I try to use up as much of the bird as possible. I’m making homemade stock from roasted bones, carcass, and skin of the goose. It’s really so simple and quick to make (I mean preparation time, the stock itself must cook for about 1.5 hours). You will be really surprised how flavorful it is! It’s a great base for many soups. It would be great for this cannellini bean soup or my favorite use – for French onion soup. It’s really a tradition at our house – every time I roast a duck or a goose, we make this homemade stock and base the soup on it. It really is so delicious! I take the French onion soup made with this stock (either from a goose or a duck) any time over chicken- of beef stock-based soup!

Here’s how to do it: Just add all the bones and carcass that you have left into a large pot (if I’m making roast goose just for my family I take all the bones, but if I served it for guests I just take the carcass, breast bones, and wings – there’s not much meat on them). You can also add the giblets if you’re eating them. I also add any other bones (roasted or not) that I have in my freezer, they can also be from turkey or chicken. Then I add soup vegetables: peeled 3 carrots, 1/2 celery, a piece of celeriac, 1 parsley root, 1 onion (if I know that the stock will be used to make French onion soup, I’ll add more onions, about 3), a small bunch of fresh herbs (for example parsley), and aromatics: about 20 peppercorns, a small amount of salt, a couple of bay leaves, a couple of allspice berries, and a couple small pieces of dried porcini mushrooms. I cover all of this with water – just enough to cover everything I have in the pot, I can be about 2 quarts (2l) if I only have a carcass, wings, and a couple of vegetables, but If I have more bones and vegetables it can go up to 4 quarts (4l). Cover the pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 1.5-2 hours, then strain. You can discard all the bones and vegetables. Your stock is ready to use! It can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 6 months.

TIP: Freeze some of this aromatic goose stock and use it next time you’re roasting a goose to make an amazing stovetop goose gravy!

Goose breast and leg on a brown plate with stuffing, potato dumpling, braised red cabbage, and gravy.

Roast goose

Juicy roast goose with crispy skin, baked with flavorful apple-onion-chestnut stuffing.
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Roast goose leg and breast on a brown plate with braised cabbage and potato dumplings.
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0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

the goose:

  • 1 goose 7.7lbs/3.5kg
  • 1.5 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons thyme

the stuffing:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 stale dinner rolls
  • 2 medium apples
  • 3.5 oz (100g) cooked chestnuts
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk 60ml
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

for the gravy:

  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • couple twigs fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme
  • 2 teaspoons flour

Instructions

Make the stuffing:

  • Peel the onion, cut it in half, then into slices. Peel and core the apples then cut them into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks. Cut the rolls into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the onions. Cook for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Take the pot of the heat, add the apples, rolls, and crushed chestnuts. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with milk and honey and add to the pot. Season the stuffing with marjoram, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and stir everything together.

Prepare the goose:

  • Remove the giblets and neck from the goose cavity (they are usually stored inside the goose in a plastic bag), reserve the neck for the gravy. Trim the excess fat from the tail. Wash the goose with wet paper towels then pat dry with paper towels – inside and outside. Optionally, chop off the ends of the wings, at the first joint (to prevent burning, this is more necessary for bigger birds), you can also use them for the gravy. Use a tip of a sharp knife to pierce the skin in a couple places around the thighs and the tail, creating tiny exit points for the escaping fat, do not poke or pierce the actual meat.
  • Stir the salt, pepper, marjoram, and thyme together and rub the goose with the mixture. Adjust the amount of salt to the bird's weight, for a 8lbs (3.5kg) goose I used 1.5 Tbsp, for a 10lbs (4.5kg) bird use about 2 Tbsp. Rub it outside, inside, then loosen the skin on the breasts (without completely detaching it or pricking it) and rub the breast meat under the skin with the spices (detaching the goose's skin is a little bit harder than with chicken or turkey, I usually need to cut with a knife or meat scissors a membrane that is between the skin and the breast then loosen the skin with my hands).
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F / 230°C / Gas Mark 8, no fan.
  • Stuff the goose with the stuffing. Use toothpicks to close the cavity at the bottom and around the neck (so that the filling won't fall out).
  • Chop the carrots, onion, and celery ribs into a couple of chunks. Add into a large baking dish along with the wine, garlic, fresh herbs, goose neck, and wing tips. Add about 1.5 cups of water.
  • Place the goose breast-side down on the vegetables or on a wire rack in the baking dish (If you don't have a wire rack that would fit in your baking dish, you can bake the goose on the wire rack that comes with the oven, and place the baking dish on one shelf below, to catch all the fat dripping from the goose).

Bake the goose:

  • The principle: Bake the goose 18 minutes / 1 lb + 30 minutes or 40 minutes / 1 kg + 30 minutes (baking time with the stuffing). For a 8 lbs goose this means: (18 minutes x 8 lbs) + 30 minutes = 175 minutes. 30 minutes at high temperature, then lower the temperature and bake it half the time breast side-down and the second-half the time breast-side up.
  • My goose was rather small and weighed with the stuffing 7.7 lbs (3.5 kg), so I baked it first 30 minutes at 450°F / 230°C, then reduced the temperature to 350°F / 180°C / Gas Mark 4 (no fan) and baked it for 1h 10 minutes. Next, I turned the goose over (breast-side up) and baked it for 1 h 10 minutes. After turning the goose breast-side up, sprinkle the breasts and legs again with a little bit of salt, this will help crisp up the skin (do this only if the breast was touching the liquid, meaning some of the salt from the skin went to the liquid). Adjust the baking time to the weight of your goose (for example, for a 10 lbs / 4.5 kg goose: bake it 30 mins at 450F/230C breast-side down, then 90 mins at 350F/180C breast-side down, then 90 mins at 350F/180C breast side-up).
  • Take the goose out of the oven, transfer it to a large plate, and leave to rest for about 15 minutes. While the goose is resting, prepare the gravy.

Make the gravy:

  • Strain all the liquid from the baking dish into a small pot. Most of this liquid is rendered fat. The fat (clear yellow liquid) will be at the top and brown drippings needed for gravy will be at the bottom. Try to collect the fat at the top, first with a ladle (reserve this pure, clear yellow fat for other dishes), then when the yellow fat will start to mix with the brown drippings (I discard this part) tilt the pot slightly and collect the fat with a spoon until you get about 1 cup brown liquid at the bottom of the pot (it will still be rather fatty). Pour the drippings into a small pot, add flour slurry (flour whisked with 2 teaspoons of cold water), bring to a boil, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until thickened (see notes for alternative gravy).

Serve:

  • Carve the goose, serve with the gravy.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • If your goose is frozen, thaw it first in the fridge – this will take about 1,5-2.5 days, depending on the goose’s weight. Make sure your goose is really defrosted before rubbing it with herbs and baking it or it won’t absorb the flavor properly.
  • Stuffing alternative: take 1 large orange, 2 medium apples, and 1 large onion, cut into quarters, and stuff goose with them.
  • Reserve the carcass, any leftover bones, and the wings to make an amazing goose stock. It’s a great base for French onion soup or for gravy. Directions are in the body of the post.
  • If you have more time and want to have more gravy, you can make the sauce on the stovetop: Heat 1-2 Tbsp of frying oil in a medium pot. Add the goose neck and wing tips. Cook them over high heat until browned. Add roughly chopped: 1 celery rib, 1 medium onion, 2 carrots, 2 whole garlic cloves, and cook them for a couple of minutes until browned. Add 3/4 cup dry white wine, 2 cups goose/duck/chicken broth, a couple of twigs fresh herbs (like rosemary or thyme), and 1/2 teaspoon of tomato paste. Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour, then thicken at the end with flour slurry (2 teaspoons flour mixed with 2 teaspoons water), and season with salt and pepper. It would be best to use a good-quality goose or duck’s broth. You can make it from the roast goose bones and carcass and use it for the next roast goose and gravy.
  • For an extra crispy skin and a little more juicy meat, you can leave seasoned duck (with salt and spices) in the fridge for up to 2 days (uncover it for one night).
Course Main Course
Cuisine austrian, German
Keyword Christmas goose, how to bake goose, roast goose

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