Goose was the traditional main course for a Victorian Christmas, and these days geese are available at many butchers. The quality of the goose absolutely affects the final product; the best I have found are from Quebec, but there are also lovely Brethren geese from Mennonite farmers. Determine the amount of brine you will need by placing the goose in a pot and adding water until it's completely immersed. Measure the water and then make up the brine according to the following recipe.
- 1 7- to-8-pound (3.15- to 3.5-kilogram) goose
- 16 cups water
- 1 cup kosher salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 2-inch strip orange rind
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns, cracked
One recipe Prune Stuffing (see below)
- Goose Jus
- 3 tablespoons flour
- ¼ cup red wine
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons red currant or other jelly
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
The day before you roast the goose, bring 4 cups water, 1 cup kosher salt, ½ cup sugar, orange rind and peppercorns to boil. Remove from heat and add remaining cold water. Chill. Place goose in a large pot and cover with the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
On roasting day, preheat oven to 425 F.
Loosely stuff goose with prune stuffing. Close cavity with skewers. Use a fork to prick the goose all over.
Place goose, breast-side-up, on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
Reduce oven to 350 F and continue roasting for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until drumsticks move easily in their sockets and thigh juices are a pale yellow. Do not overcook or meat will dry out. An instant-read thermometer should read 160 F at the thickest part.
Drain fat from roasting pan, leaving brown roasting juices and 3 tablespoons fat. Place pan on stove over medium heat. Add flour, stir well and cook until flour is browned. Whisk in wine and stock, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add soy and red currant jelly and let simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until it coats a spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Serve goose with gravy on the side. Serves 8.