Why get a goose? The goose has relatively little meat, lots of skin, a huge amount of bone, and a very large amount of fat. However, the meat is very nutrient-dense and filling, and absolutely delicious when properly cooked. The crisp skin is even better. The bones and fat give incredible flavor to the meat, and have many uses of their own. We get so many benefits from every goose.
We had a wonderful roast goose yesterday, for Christmas dinner. But that was just one of the benefits provided by this most delicious bird. My ancestors would use the whole goose, for food and other purposes. So I decided to do the same. I was delighted to find how many benefits could be provided by a single goose.
The Christmas Dinner
We bought the goose so we could have a traditional Christmas dinner. The goose not only provided the delicious main course, but also contributed to the stuffing and gravy.
The goose was supposed to be naturally raised. I examined the liver of the goose. The liver was firm and clear, a sign of a healthy bird. The ancient Romans used to examine the livers of chickens before a possible battle. A clear liver was the best omen. I think of it as a sign of a healthy goose that will be nourishing and tasty.
The goose itself provided the main course, a roast goose. I removed the interior fat and set it aside to render into liquid goose fat. The liver and heart were minced, and reserved for the stuffing. The neck and other giblets were set to simmer in a quart of filtered water, to provide a stock for the gravy.
I stuffed the goose with a sage, onion, and apple stuffing, moistened with plenty of whole pastured eggs, using cubes made from sourdough spelt bread, and mixed in the minced liver and heart.
As the goose roasted, it released a huge amount of fat into the pan. I removed the fat from the pan several times, and saved it.
When the goose was ready, the kitchen was filled with a wonderful aroma, and the crisp skin made it a most appetizing and beautiful sight. In fact, the goose looked and smelled so good we forgot to take a picture of it.
When it was time to make the gravy, I used goose fat drippings from the pan, along with sprouted spelt flour, as a base for the gravy, along with the goose broth made from the neck. Browned drippings from the pan were used to color the gravy and enrich its magnificent flavor.
The crisp skin and flavorful, tender meat of the goose were absolutely delicious, greatly enhanced by the stuffing and the very flavorful gravy. Goose is a very nutrient-dense meat, and very satisfying. We all felt wonderful after the meal.
Goose bone broth, slowly simmered to perfection over many hours, is one of the tastiest of broths. We also had a lot of meat and skin left over, as well as stuffing and gravy. I trimmed the skin, and a fair amount of the tender meat from the carcass. This would be used for a goose casserole.
The rest of the bones, including the wings and the wing tips, and the sizable carcass, went into a large stockpot for goose bone broth. I started the broth early this morning, and it will simmer slowly into the early evening, so all the nutrients and flavors will release into the broth. This will give us many quarts of delicious, nutrient-dense, goose bone broth.
Goose casserole will be for lunch. I will chop the goose skin and meat into small bits, and add it to the stuffing and leftover gravy, with some more liquid from the simmering broth pot until it is just the right thickness. The mixture will be slowly simmered until it is hot and tender, and will be delicious. I know, because I have done this before.
The Glorious Goose Fat
I rendered the fat I removed from the goose, which turned into a nicely colored yellow liquid. I saved this in a mason jar, along with the goose fat I collected during the roasting process.
Goose fat has many uses. It is great for cooking and marinating. It has a somewhat beefy flavor, and can really enhance the flavor of all beef, from steaks to roasts to pot roasts. Potatoes roasted or sautéed in goose fat are a favorite dish in many European countries. Goose fat is wonderful for sautéing any kind of beef, and is perfect for caramelizing vegetables.
You can also use goose fat to baste any roast meat, and it gives great taste and crispness to roast chicken.
The ancient Greeks and Romans used goose fat to treat their wounds, and reported it was very effective. The same peoples would rub goose fat into aching joints and muscles, and considered it to be a very effective remedy. I have no personal experience with this, but these ancient peoples used it for those purposes.
Cool goose fat is a terrific moisturizer, being particularly soothing for dry winter skin. It will make you smell a bit like goose, but is very soothing.
So as you can see, we got a great deal of benefit from our goose, and we will be enjoying the flavorful fat and delicious broth for some time. Our ancestors knew just what to do with a goose.
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