01 January, 2009

Christmas Lunch - what did you have?

I was full of good intentions to ask that question before the event. But events, dear boy, events. I also intended to have a post about my Christmas lunch with pictures.

Anyway, lunch here was goose which I've never cooked before. I decided on goose because there were only seven of us for lunch, including one vegetarian and two small girls who don't eat that much. My goose came via my local butchers, Cashells, from Coedwynog of Pembrokeshire. Before I collected the goose I had a conversation with cousin Jack (he of the pheasant dissecting skills) which went along these lines:

Jack: "Well if you're going to do goose you have to try Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe. Now which book is it?"

Eliane (she of the far too large book collection): "This one?" pointing to HFW's River Cottage Year.

Jack: That's right. Now where is it. Oh yes, stuffed neck of goose with giblets. That's amazing. Then (said as airily as you can believe!) you just take the legs off to make the confit and roast the breast. It's wonderful.

Eliane (gulping): Oh. Right. Er. Yes. Maybe.

Later. Eliane reads recipe again. Panics. Decides she cannot attempt this as her first goose-cooking exercise for Christmas with the in-laws, no matter how competitive she is feeling.

So we had roasted goose stuffed with prune, apple and chestnut stuffing. Stuffing it was quite entertaining. At first I couldn't quite work out where the entrance was, as it were. There was so much fat there. I had to pull it out, a jug full of solid goose fat, and then suddenly there was this cavern. Almost no goose at all. Well, I'm kidding but compared to a turkey, you sure buy a lot of air and stuff to roast your potatoes in.

It was wonderful. Crisp, moist, rich. Frankly it was amazing and I think I'm sticking to goose for future Christmases.

I served it with red cabbage (recipe to follow tomorrow), an orange salad, creamy parsnips, roast potatoes and brussels sprouts. And there were no fights in the kitchen, no rush at the end, even the table looked lovely. I'm finally managing to get this Christmas lunch thing under control.


Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I love turkey and did it for just the two of us but my daughter (both daughters seriously good cooks for which God be thanked) did a goose and loved it so may be on the menu for next year.
Our full house has been New Year which has been so full of food and wine and laughter and spreading myself out around four adult children and their partners that it will be quite relaxing to have the place to ourselves again. Fabulous when they come, great when they go!

just Gai said...

We had goose a couple of years ago and enjoyed it - not much meat but bowls-full of fat which kept us in the cripiest of roast potatoes for many months.

This year we had duck. My daughters spent 10 days with their French exchange family in Bordeaux/Bayonne this summer and returned raving about the duck confit. As it's only the legs that are 'confitted' I had to buy (and bone!) two ducks. However the rest of the birds did not go to waste. We ate the wings and breasts separately and froze the giblets to be eaten on bruschetta at a later date. The fat was rendered for the confit, the skin crisped and eaten as a snack and the carcass boiled for stock.

Apart from the wings, which were disappointingly chewy, the rest of the bird was delicious.

Don said...

Christmas goose in Wales! It doesn't get better than that! I wouldn't even need Christmas Chocolate if I had that...

I hope 2009 brings you joys and health!