Canada’s 100 Best - - Column -

Serves 4


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• 1 goose breast (or moulard duck breast), about 400 g (14 oz)

Flaky sea salt

1 goose (or duck) car­cass, chopped, rinsed and pat­ted dry

2 bunches of or­ganic heir­loom car­rots 100 g (½ cup) salted cul­tured but­ter 1 hand­ful dry pine nee­dles

250 ml (1 cup) of lin­gonber­ries

(or wild cran­ber­ries)

Ap­ple cider vine­gar

Fen­nel (or other herb) flow­ers


Four days be­fore cook­ing, pat goose breast dry with pa­per tow­els, and salt gen­er­ously, coat­ing it with as much salt as will cling to it with­out press­ing it into the flesh. Place breast on a rack on a small bak­ing sheet and trans­fer to the re­frig­er­a­tor, un­cov­ered, for four days.

Pre-heat oven to 175°C (350°F). Ar­range bones in a deep non-re­ac­tive roast­ing pan and trans­fer to mid­dle rack of the oven. Roast for 45 min­utes (the bones won’t brown much). Add wa­ter to cover the bones, then cover pan with a fit­ted lid (or seal with alu­minum foil) and cook undis­turbed for five hours. Turn off oven but do not re­move pan; leave to cool slowly for two hours. Un­cover, skim broth, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large saucepan. Bring to a sim­mer over medium heat, skim­ming foam and im­pu­ri­ties as they rise to the sur­face. Re­duce by at least half un­til flavour in­ten­si­fies—about 1 hour. Sea­son with salt and set aside to cool, then trans­fer to re­frig­er­a­tor un­til needed.

Pre­heat oven to 190°C (375°F).

A few hours be­fore serv­ing, trans­fer goose breast to coun­ter­top. Mean­while, di­vide car­rots into two groups, by size. Com­bine largest car­rots and 2 tbsp but­ter in a roast­ing pan and trans­fer to oven. Every 15 min­utes move them around in the pan. Af­ter 60 min­utes add the smaller car­rots, and more but­ter. Con­tinue cook­ing as above un­til ten­der, and set aside. Pre­heat the out­door grill (prefer­ably char­coal). Over low heat, grill the goose breast skin side down for about 30 sec­onds, re­move it to cool for 30 sec­onds, and re­peat, un­til the fat is ren­dered and the skin be­comes crispy—about 20 min­utes. Scat­ter pine nee­dles over the coals, oc­ca­sion­ally (or with a gas bar­be­cue, use a smok­ing box). Fin­ish cook­ing the breast flesh side down for about 60 sec­onds, then set aside to rest un­der a tent of alu­minum foil.

To fin­ish, bring 250 ml (1 cup) of re­duced goose broth to a sim­mer in a saucepan over medium heat, then lower. Add the berries and heat through (do not let them burst). Re­move from heat, stir in 1 tbsp cold but­ter, a few drops of vine­gar for bal­ance, and salt if de­sired.

Slice the larger car­rots about 1 cm

( ½ inch) thick and ar­range 2 or 3 slices at the cen­tre of 4 warm plates. Sprin­kle with salt. Slice goose against the grain and dis­trib­ute among the four warm plates, on top of the car­rots. Add a few smaller car­rots on top of the goose, douse with sauce and gar­nish with the fen­nel flow­ers.

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