It’s been a long day. I delivered the geese I sold directly and had to explain that none of the birds are as big as hoped and expected. Too free-range? I had thought at one stage of putting a fitbit on them to see how far they were actually going in a day, cause they basically had the run of the place.
My customers have been lovely about it all. It was a lot of driving (yet only Perth and a little bit into Fife) but the sun came out (woohoo!!!!) and I even got a pic of a full rainbow.
Anyway we have a few we didn’t sell. They were going to go into the new chest freezer I ordered last week but when I rang yesterday to find out what time it was being delivered (so I could time my deliveries accordingly), they said it would be Tuesday 5th January 2016!!!! So I had a bit of a Flat White Moment (inside joke). And then cancelled the order. So today is not over yet. I have managed to fit three birds in our small freezer (one of which I am taking to the in-laws for Christmas day) and now I am cooking the two others that won’t fit.
It’s a good test – I need to eat my words, in a way. So I am testing the recipe on http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/roasting-a-perfect-duck-or-goose. It’s a bit different to what you would expect because you carve off the breast half way through, but it makes sense – the breast meat and the legs are ideal at different temperatures. It means the show stopping carving at the table isn’t going to happen but that isn’t what eating is about really, is it? It’s about what it looks like on the plate and then how it feels, tastes, smells.
This is them half way through
The colour is lovely. The slashes are to let the fat render down easier. I may have gone too deep in places – you’re just supposed to do the skin rather than the meat.
Doing it at a lower temperature means your kitchen isn’t full of smoke wherever you open the oven.
This is the carcass now done with photos of the breast meat and some of the fat from the tin that I strained through a muslin (sitting in a sieve). I probably should have cut more breast off but I’m still learning!
When I do the final bird on Christmas day I think I’m going to also use Gordon Ramsay’s recommended flavours of Chinese 5 spice, lemons and limes for a bit of a kick.
It’s not just about the meat though – I’m also making stock with the necks. They are simmering in water with a carrot, celery, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, juniper berries (to continue the Scottish theme) and red peppercorns. They were simmering on top of the stove but once the geese came out of the oven I turned the oven off and put the stock pot into it to continue the process. Tomorrow it will be cool enough for me to freeze. I’ll then start making the second lot of stock with carcass from the roasted birds. Never ending I can hear some of you sigh but I don’t like food waste and boy that future risotto is going to taste divine!
More than that though, I feel I am honouring those birds. So thanks honkers.
Now I just need to find space in the full (over flowing) freezer for all the cooked meat!!!
Two things I would do differently –
- I think I overcooked the thigh meat. Use the temp probe rather than by time. These geese were much smaller than in the recipe.
- Make sure to prick the leg meat and under the bird. There was still fat which could/should have come out.
- I’m really surprised by just how much meat came off those two skinny birds! Just over a kilo of stripped meat (I was getting quite bored towards the end so probably left a bit) so I’d say each bird would easily feed 4 and they were only about 2.5 kgs.