The last Le Creuset video of the year is also my favorite, and one of the great celebratory meals available: goose!

Le Creuset actually makes a goose pot—it’s even called a goose pot—and it is one big mother of a cooking vessel. I absolutely LOVE it. You could give a baby a bath in it. You could plant an herb garden in it during the summer. But here, we’re cooking goose!

Believe it or not, it’s a relatively simple, make-ahead meal, using a dual cooking method. The goose is first braised in wine and water, which renders the abundant fat, cooks and tenderizes the goose, and becomes in itself a rich stock.

Everything can then be chilled for up to three days and finished in an hour. Every december, a group of my oldest pals and spouse get together I’ll be cooking this goose again for our annual fête.

Holiday Goose!

  • one 10-pound goose
  • 4 leeks, root ends removed, cut in half widthwise, then lengthwise, and thoroughly washed
  • 4 Spanish onions, cut in eighths
  • 8 large carrots, peeled and cut as needed
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 gallon water
  1. Wash the goose inside and out. Remove anything stuffed in its cavity (reserve the liver if you wish). Return the neck, heart, and gizzard to the cavity. Cut the wing tips off the goose and stuff those in the cavity as well. Prick the goose all over with the tip of a paring knife to facilitate the fat’s cooking out.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a goose pot, packing the cavity of the goose with as many carrots, onions, and leeks as will fit. The idea is to pack the pot so full you use as little water as possible. Add the wine and enough water to cover the legs of the goose, about three-quarters of the way up the goose.
  3. Put the pot over high heat and bring to a simmer, skimming any foam and gunk (coagulated protein) from the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes, then turn the burner to low and let it cook for 3 hours; the water should remain at about 180°F/82°C.
  4. Remove the goose from the pot, let it drain, and cool in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight.
  5. Strain the goose stock into a pot, allow it to cool, then refrigerate it overnight too.
  6. The next day remove the fat from the top of the stock. If you have time, simmer the stock to reduce it by about half.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425°F/218°C to 450°F/232°C, convection bake if that’s an option.
  8. Put the goose in the cleaned goose pot, and then into the oven. Roast for 1 hour. If the skin isn’t browned and crispy you can turn on the broiler.
  9. Remove the bird from the pot and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cover the bottom of a roasting pan (or your cleaned goose pot) with about 1 inch of the stock. Set it over a burner and bring it to a simmer, then turn the heat to low.
  10. Remove each leg from the goose at the thigh joint, then separate the thigh from the drumstick. Carve the meat off the leg pieces and put them in the roasting pan, and bring the heat up so that the stock gently simmers. Cook the leg meat another 10 minutes.
  11. Remove each side of the breast whole from the carcass (save the carcass and leg bones to make more stock; you can freeze them to make the stock weeks later if you wish). Slice the goose breasts widthwise in 1/4-inch slices. Fan it atop the goose leg meat simmering in the stock. Turn the heat to low. Spoon the hot stock over the goose breast.
  12. Serve with mustard or a mustard sauce made by combining ¾ cup Dijon mustard with 1 1/4 cups goose stock.

Serves 8

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© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.