When we think about a wild goose, the first thing that comes to mind is yuck! For a long time, people have called it despicable names such as “sky rats” while some made bold statements that it’s unfit for human consumption.
For some of us, we have been caught in this myth, not knowing what we’ve been missing out on. I never gave much thought to the goose; on a few occasions, I tried indulging in it, but what most people said about goose were confirmed.
Its meat was tough and tasted like old liver. I know, I know! Filthy right? The turnaround came when I decided to be a little bit more adventurous when it came to my menu. I explored various recipes, and then a friend recommended I try wild goose, the best decision of my life.
When I tried it for the second time, my oh my, it was divine! There are various ways of preparing wild goose. Luckily for you, we are going to discuss the different ways you can make wild goose stew for a fantastic experience. Stay tuned!
In the beginning, I tried out goose pastrami, which is a smoked and brained goose breast that is sliced and covered with spicy brown mustard and onion marmalade. A taste of this will turn even hardcore critics into fanatics. I have heard of stories of people who hated goose, but once they tried it, they instantly turned into goose lovers.
For first-timers, you should know that you can prepare almost any part of the bird, yes, you heard me. Remember to always pluck your geese; this may seem tedious, but I promise you will enjoy it, especially if you are planning on preparing it as a centerpiece for the holidays.
After you’ve finished plucking the goose, thoroughly clean it so that it can be quickly roasted. Alternatively, you can cut it into pieces if you have something different in mind. Approximately, each breast of geese weighs about one and a half pounds and can feed more than three people.
For thighs and legs, you can use them to prepare soups, confit or stew. For the legs, you can also braise them. Personally, I usually make two goose legs and cook with a blend of apple cider and goose stock for a good 4 hours, ensuring all the meat falls off the bone.
When it comes to preparation of the breast, simplicity is critical. Using a sharp knife, score its skin. On the grooves, rub it with salt and pepper. Place it skin-side down in an oven-safe pan. The setting of the pan should be medium-low heat to ensure the fat slowly renders off; this will take around 8-10 minutes, giving it a crisp taste. Ensure you do it in a slow process to minimize the risks of burning it. When the skin finally turns brown, flip the breast and place it on a whole pan in a 350-degree oven for approximately 5-10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 150 degrees. Alternatively, you can roast your geese to remove all the fat and store it as stock. The dripping fat is excellent for roasting vegetable or making confit. Let me let you in on a little secret, potatoes fried in goose fat are delicious.
Finally, for the organs, especially the liver, you can cook it or use it for stuffing. For me, the heart is my favorite organ. It’s among the first parts I prepare, I usually marinate them and put them on a grill for a couple of minutes and am good to go.
The gizzard is also another good part; it’s usually the size of a tennis ball. You can use gizzard to prepare different dishes depending on your preference. For food lovers, you can also corn them.
My love for goose stew has turned me into a well-seasoned hunter; an average size goose weighs 10 to 12 pounds and can feed 3-4 people, enough for both my family and me. At first, getting to know how to prepare it and which method was the best was a bit of a problem. Well, readers, you are in luck; if you follow these steps, you will also become an expert like me.
GOOSE LIVER PATE
- Three bay leaves
- 12 ounces of goose liver
- One teaspoon of Insta Cure
- 2 cups of gin
1. Mix bay leaves, gin, and salt together, for the liver, marinate them for 24 hours. Remove the liver from the marinade and let them dry.
2. Using a pan, fry the liver in two spoons of goose fat for a few minutes and on both sides. Place both goose fat and liver into the food processor and also add:
- A dash of nutmeg
- Half a small white onion
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 8 ounces of whipped cream cheese
- ¼ teaspoon dry thyme
- One minced garlic clove
1. Blend all the ingredients till it’s creamy and smooth; you can add a pinch of salt for that extra mellow feel.
2.Sieve the mixture using a mesh sieve, press it to get creamy and smooth. Serve.
For many people, the legs and thighs are the toughest part to eat. To get a delicious piece, use a low-and-slow cooking method. With the confit method, the goose legs are salted for almost a day (24 hours) and immersed in fat until the meat falls off.
For preparation, here are simple and easy steps
- Two unskinned thighs and goose legs
- Three bay leaves
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- Four cloves of minced garlic
- One teaspoon dried thyme
- Sufficient goose fat to cover the legs
- Rub the goose legs with a mixture of spices and salt
- Freeze the thighs and legs for 24 hours
- Wash the salt mixture off the legs and let them dry fully
- Insert the legs into a heavy, oven-safe pot and cover it with goose fat
- Set the oven at 200 degrees for about 5-6 hours. When the meat starts to fall off the bone, you’ll know it’s done.
- For those who want to store the confit, store in a Ziploc freezer bag, together with the rendered fat and store in a freezer.
- When preparing the legs afterward, start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees and roast for 10-15 minutes for a crispy feel.
Overcooking goose meat is one of the main problems we all encounter; a slice of well-cooked meat is usually pink and tender that will keep you craving for more. Ciao!