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This is how you roast a goose

We can hardly believe it ourselves, but goose season has begun again.

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This is how you roast a goose

We can hardly believe it ourselves, but goose season has begun again. In many restaurants you can now read sayings like: "Would you like something delicious goose?" We stay away from such sayings that have long since ceased to be original, but definitely not from the goose. It has been on our menu for more than 30 years. Our kitchen cannot be imagined without it. Without wanting to appear immodest: we are well-known for our geese and were once voted the best goose restaurant in Germany by a trade journal. Would you like to eat goose with us these days? Then please reserve in good time, which in this case means: one year in advance. Sounds crazy, but that's how it is. Think about the goose in autumn 2023 today.

We have been buying our geese from a farm in Oldenburg for more than 30 years. Outdoor animals, of course. You must have lived sensibly. We can cook six geese per evening, one is enough for four people. From half past seven the geese are put on the table one after the other, where we cut them up in front of our guests. They are best fresh out of the oven. They still need to steam, they need to be crispy.

The oldest goose recipe that has been handed down dates back to 1350. Goose is one of the most popular dishes, especially around Christmas – at least in German-speaking countries. Originally she was a Martin goose. For people of the Catholic faith, it was taken for granted to prepare a goose to commemorate Saint Martin on November 11th. Then a 40-day Lent began, ending on Christmas Eve. And to celebrate the day, a goose landed on the tables again.

Even though we have a long tradition of eating goose (in the USA, for example, turkey is preferred), the goose is still a mystery to this day. It is treated, prepared and filled differently in every kitchen. Sometimes with chestnuts, sometimes with breadcrumbs, sometimes with dried fruit, sometimes not at all. We think that if you have bought a goose of exceptionally good quality - an important distinguishing feature is the price, the more expensive the goose, the better it is usually - then you can forego the fuss about the choice of stuffing. Then you can keep it simple-traditional.

Your goose should weigh about four and a half kilos. It should be fat, otherwise it will easily dry out during cooking. Stand them upright in front of you and season the inside with salt and pepper. Now you need: 800 grams of apples, roughly chopped, with core and skin. 200 grams of onion, also roughly chopped Two tablespoons of dried marjoram. Mix the ingredients well in a bowl, stuff the goose with it and tie the legs with roast twine. Then set aside, covered, for three hours.

Preheat the oven to 185 degrees top and bottom heat. Rub the skin of the goose with a wet hand with salt and pepper. The wet hand causes the salt and pepper to stick well to the skin. Never put the goose in a cold oven, again, this is a surefire way to serve a dry goose. Slide them onto a grid over a sheet pan. Add a fireproof container with 300 milliliters of water. This has two advantages: There is moisture in the oven. And: The fat combines with the steam and prevents the goose from burning. Cook them for three and a half hours. Every 45 minutes check whether there is still water in the container, otherwise refill it. Very important: you don't need to water the goose or change the temperature. Before carving, please be careful: hot liquid has accumulated in the goose.

If you buy the goose from your butcher you trust, he will usually also give you the goose baby: liver, heart, stomach, neck. Fry the liver and serve it as a starter, for example on lamb's lettuce. Fry everything else as well. Add some vegetables, tomato paste, red wine, spices, goose fat. Boil with water, strain. A first-class dark sauce for the goose is ready.

Walter Stemberg and his son Sascha run the "Haus Stemberg" restaurant in Velbert, whose star was confirmed in the "Guide Michelin" for the ninth year in a row. The Stembergs write about the basics of cooking in WELT AM SONNTAG. All episodes online: www.welt.de/kochschule

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