The trick to roasting a goose is dealing with the incredible amount of fat that will render off it. But do as the French do — see that as a blessing. Put the fat in a bottle and pop it in a fridge for future cooking use.
This is a very basic roasting technique for a goose. There are far fancier ways to do this. But this will get the trick done, with no faffing about. In fact, it looks more complicated than it is — owing to the need to be very clear in print about cooking steps.
Use a roasting pan that has a roasting rack inside it. Or improvise, by finding a roasting pan that a wire rack will fit into. You want to raise the bird a bit off the bottom of the pan. No roasting pan cover is used.
For a 10 to 16 pound (4.5 to 7 kg) goose
1. Make a stuffing. A simple sage and onion bread one is traditional. You can prepare this a day in advance and refrigerate if you wish — just bring it up to room temperature again before using.
2. Start heating the oven to 350 F (180 C / gas mark 4)
3. Stuff the bird from it’s tail end. Tie it with kitchen string so it will stay together.
4. With the tip of a sharp knife, prick all parts of the bird in several places. To do this to a sausage would be madness. For a goose, it’s essential. This is to allow the abundance of rendered fat to easily flow out.
5. If desired, rub salt into skin.
6. Pop the goose in a roasting pan on a rack — breast side down. Yep, that’s right. Upside down.
7. Cover with tin foil. Pop in oven. The oven should be good and hot by now.
8. Let cook for one hour.
9. After 1 hour, take the goose out, and flip it right side up. Cover it back up with tin foil.
10. Cook for another 1 ½ hours, at same temperature.
11. Remove tin foil, cook right side up for a final hour. To recap, that’s 1 hour upside down covered in tin foil, 1 ½ hours right side up covered in tin foil, final hour right side up, no tin foil cover.
12. Remove goose from roasting pan. Drain fat off carefully so that the juices remain behind for gravy. Reserve fat in fridge for future cooking uses.
13. Cover the goose with the tin foil to keep it warm while you make a quick gravy from the juices.
14. Serve sliced goose (see carving directions below), stuffing, and gravy.
To carve, crave at a 90 degree angle from the breast bone, starting from the neck end. Bear in mind that goose breasts are shallow. Then slice off the legs, then slice off the thigh meat.