roast goose breast with apples and raisins
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Goose breast can be cooked just like duck breast: in the skillet then transferred to oven. Served with fruit and raisin topping, it’s a special treat.
Goose is an expensive beast and, at least in England, not readily available outside Christmas time. Even then it’s quite a luxury – a big bird but not as much to eat on it as on a duck, let alone turkey. So the best bet if you want to enjoy it is to hunt post-Christmas bargains at the butchers’.
You’d think a goose is just like a slightly larger duck, but the flavour is different. Goose meat is not as tender but it tastes mature, fulsome and rich. It is as fatty as duck but – a little disappointingly for taste buds but good news for your waistline – the skin is not as nice to eat. Your choice, of course, but I find it too chewy and too thick.
A goose breast is best cooked precisely like you’d cook a duck breast, a little longer depending on the size. The enormous amount of precious (for potato roasting on another occasion) fat needs to be rendered first by placing the breast fillet skin side down in a cold skillet or frying pan over medium heat. After 10 minutes or so the skin should be golden and crisp; peek underneath often as you don’t want the fat or the skin to burn and spoil the flavour of the meat. Shift the fillet onto a clean roasting tray and the goose will go into a preheated oven for a few minutes. Afterwards it needs to rest, and to be sliced across not too thinly.
Like duck, it also requires something fruity, sharp and sweet to cut through the richness and fat. I like the apple and raisin topping, easy to prepare and really complementing the meat. Some fresh greens will go nicely with such a rich dish and perhaps just a boiled potato or two. Roasties sound like a heavenly match, especially if you should use the rendered fat but your arteries might scream in terror. The fat must be saved, without question, but for another occasion when the meat element is a little lighter on the stomach.
roast goose breast with apples and raisinsServings: 2Time: 40 minutes
- 1 goose breast fillet, about 450g (1 pound)
- salt and black pepper
- For the topping:
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 medium eating apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 2 tbsp. raisins or sultanas
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 60ml (¼ cup) dry red wine
- 120ml (½ cup) chicken stock
- 1 tbsp. apple marmalade (or apricot jam)
1. Score the goose skin in a criss-cross pattern, making sure not to cut through the meat. Rub both sides with salt and pepper.
2. First prepare the topping: melt the butter in a skillet and add the apples, raisins, spice and cinnamon. Cook covered over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
3. Add the red wine and let it cook off. Pour in the stock and turn down the heat. Let it simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the marmalade and keep warm.
4. Place the goose skin side down in a cold frying pan and set it over medium heat. Let the fat render gently and the skin crispen for about 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/gas 9 with the rack set at the lowest level.
5. When the goose is done in the frying pan, transfer it, skin side up, to a clean roasting tray. You can just turn it over in the pan if it’s ovenproof but the fat might burn too much and give the meat burnt flavour. Transfer the goose to the oven and roast for 5 minutes for rare and 10 minutes for medium. Remove from the oven and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.
6. To serve, slice the fillet not too thinly and top with the apples and raisins.