James Whelan Butchers: Traditional Roast Goose

Traditional Roast Goose

In Ireland in times past goose that was central to any feast and was often the choice at Christmas, wedding feasts and the old tradition of Michaelmas celebrated on 29th September and St Martin’s eve on the 11th November, neither of which seem to be of any significance today.  Because Michaelmas coincided with the apple harvest, apple cider was a natural and fitting beverage accompaniment.


As with all other animals, no part of the goose was wasted and goose soup, goose gravy and goose drisheen would be on the menu for days after the feast.  Today goose fat is the popular foody fat of choice for cooking roast potatoes. When choosing a goose for the table, it needs to be considered that the size of the goose can be deceptive, and allowance needs to be made for the low meat yield.

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  • 5kg/11lbs goose
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 500gr onions finely chopped
  • 200gr sausage meat
  • Fresh sage leaves chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 200 gr fresh bread crumbs
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • Pepper and salt

To Cook

Pre-heat oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.

To make the stuffing, heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, cooking until translucent.  Add the sage leaves and stir for a minute or so, and then tip the mixture into a bowl.  Add the breadcrumbs, sausage meat, eggs and seasonings.

Prick the skin of the goose and insert the stuffing into the cavity.  Tie the legs tightly, and place the goose into a roasting pan, and place into the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to medium heat and cook for 2 hours, or until juices are clear when tested.  Baste the goose every 30 minutes throughout the cooking process.

Remove the goose and rest on a warmed platter, covered with foil for at least 15 minutes.  Pour off any fat from the pan and deglaze with the chicken stock, scraping any bits from the pan and incorporating them into the sauce.  Adjust seasonings, and whisk in a knob of butter to enrich the sauce for a great result.  The gravy could be strained for a perfectly clear result, or left a bit lumpy which is how I like it.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post by Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers. Pat is a 5th generation butcher, cook book author and the director of  James Whelan Butchers with shops in Clonmel, the Avoca Handweavers Rathcoole and Kilmacanogue, Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt, Rathmines and Swords in Dublin. Sign up to our newsletter for more updates from James Whelan Butchers

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