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Christmas goose with root veg, sticky pears and bramble gravy


Christmas goose with root veg, sticky pears and bramble gravy

Christmas goose with root veg, sticky pears and bramble gravy

Ingredients

  • 4-5kg oven-ready goose, trussed for roasting
  • 2 oranges
  • 4 bay leaves
  • bunch thyme
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 8 medium carrots, peeled but left whole
  • 8 medium parsnips, peeled but left whole
  • 4 turnips, peeled and halved or quartered

For the bramble gravy

  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 100ml good-quality red wine vinegar
  • ½ jar bramble jelly (Tiptree does a good one; if you can’t find it, use blackberry jam)
  • 100ml strong chicken stock

For the pears

  • 6 pears
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • large bag watercress, to serve

Method

  1. Remove all the fat from inside the bird and use a skewer to prick the goose skin all over, especially under the wings. If you have time to spare (although this isn’t essential), sit the goose in a sink, then slowly and carefully pour over 3 kettles of boiling water. Dry with kitchen paper, then leave for 1 hr or so to dry completely. This will help the skin to crisp.
  2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Season the goose cavity with salt and pepper and stuff with the oranges, bay leaves and the thyme. Rub the breast and legs with 2 tbsp oil and season generously with salt. Lay the carrots in the middle of a very large roasting tin. Sit the bird the right way up on top of the carrots. In a bowl, toss the parsnips and turnips with the rest of the oil and bay leaves, then scatter around the goose. Cover the tin with a large piece of foil, scrunching it up at the sides so it’s a tight fit. Place the goose in the oven for 1½ hrs.
  3. Take the goose out of the oven. Remove the foil and carefully use a baster to suck out most of the fat from the tin into a bowl. Lightly baste the goose and turn the parsnips. Re-cover with foil and roast for another 1½ hrs. Suck the fat from the pan again and baste, then increase the heat to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Return to the oven without any foil to brown for a final 30-40 mins until golden brown. Remove the goose from the oven and transfer to a large board or platter to rest in a warmish place for 30 mins. Scoop the vegetables out into another roasting tin and keep warm in a low oven. Keep the goose tin to finish making the gravy in.
  4. To make the gravy, remove the oranges from the goose using tongs. Pour off all the fat from the roasting tin into a bowl (it’s great used for roasting potatoes). Scatter the sugar into the tin and stir to scrape off any tasty brown bits. Splash in the vinegar, simmer down until practically dry, then stir in the jelly to dissolve, bubble and cook down. Finally, add the stock and squeeze in the juice from the oranges. Bring everything to the boil, then strain into a jug or small saucepan to reheat later.
  5. Peel and halve the pears. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the cores, then cut the pears into quarters. In a bowl, toss the pears in the icing sugar until completely coated. Heat a large frying pan over a high flame and add the pears to the pan. Cook for 1 min or so, tossing constantly, until the pears are really well caramelised and slightly burnt around the edges.
  6. Serve the goose on a platter surrounded by watercress and pear wedges. Serve the slow-roasted vegetables in a separate bowl and the gravy in a gravy boat.
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