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Friday, May 22nd


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Mona Farrugia's Roast Goose with an Apple Sauce

Mona Farrugia cooks goose for her family's New Year's Lunch each and every year. And every year she worries about whether she will get it right. Or not.

Mona Farrugia's Roast Goose with an Apple Sauce
Mona Farrugia's Roast Goose with an Apple Sauce
Mona Farrugia's Roast Goose with an Apple Sauce


Main Ingredient Goose
Preparation Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 2 - 3 hours depending on weight
Course Main: Meat
Recipe Serves 4
Recipe Type Roast
Goose has very little meat but what meat there is is super succulent and naturally basted from all the wonderful fat. This recipe is for 1 goose, which normally feeds 4 people. In my book, 1 goose feeds 2. So for six people and a couple of tiny tots, I used 4 geese.

To prepare the goose itself:

[preheat the oven to 220C, Gas mark 7]

Start by pricking the surface of the breast (the soft, pillowy part) all over with a sharp fork and rub well with a little rough Maltese sea salt and freshly-ground pepper.

Roast it very quickly in the hot oven for about 20 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180C [gas mark 4] for another 60 minutes. I prefer my bird a little pink but if you like it well-done, you can leave it up to another 20 minutes in the oven.

The important thing is to take it out and wrap it in foil to rest for 20 minutes before you serve it. That's exactly after people have finished eating the starter. Remember that in these 20 minutes, the goose will continue to cook.


The fabulous Roast Potatoes:

The tricks with roast potatoes are two: a ferocious heat and goose fat.

1.  At any other time of year, you can buy the goose or duck fat and cook it like this:  place the fat in a dish then place the dish in a hot oven. When it is melted and bubbling, throw in the peeled potatoes. You will end up with beautiful and crisp potatoes with a fluffy inside.

2.  At this time of year, and considering that you are cooking goose, what you can do is cook the goose on a rack (rather than in a dish or tray) and place a tray underneath to gather the fat.  One hour into your goose cooking, slide the tray out and quickly add the raw potatoes. Then slide back in and let them roast. Voila'! Fresh, hot goose fat dripping all over your fantastic potatoes.


The sauce:

Traditionally one uses Bramley apples for a sauce but I prefer to use Granny Smith's as you need something tart to cut through all the fat and sweetness. Peel, core and cube 3 apples roughly and cook them with a tablespoon of water a small knob of salted butter and 1 tablespoon caster sugar until they disintegrate. Keep simmering gently for 10 minutes or so until you have a nice, thick apple purée. Sweeten to taste with more sugar if you like.


A gravy:

The base for all good gravy is not Bisto's but a really nice stock. To make this, you need to prepare from before, so take the giblets, bones, bits and bobs from the goose (including the feet if you get them) and boil them for hours on a low heat with an onion, some peppercorns, some local celery and a large carrot. You can prepare this well before, strain and refrigerate or freeze it.

To make the gravy, you literally boil the same quantities of the stock and good red wine until they are reduce by half. That's it. Serve hot.


Carving and Serving:

You need to badger the guys to carve as I have noticed that these days, nothing is a 'man's job' and we women end up doing everything.  Goose is extremely easy to carve: the meat just comes away from the carcass with the simple pull of a fork, especially from the breast area. Normally each diner would get a couple of thin slices of breast per person, some of the vegetables, a drizzle of the gravy and some of the sauce.

Shopping Tips
Goose is not easy to get a hold of in Malta. I usually order mine a month ahead from Zammeats. They import goose as well as foie gras and other products from a fantastic exporter in France and have everything flown in fresh.


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