The bird Big­ging up

Reg­u­lar Devon Life chef colum­nist CHRIS SHERVILLE re­veals a way to make goose go fur­ther

Devon Life - - Complete People -

Isaid ‘boo’ to a goose once. Sheesh ke­bab! That was a mis­take. That goose low­ered its head and turned into a hiss­ing, scream­ing ball of fury, which chased me up a grassy bank, wings flap­ping and mur­der in its eyes.

I slipped and it was at me, bat­ter­ing me with its wings and peck­ing my head screech­ing and honk­ing/howl­ing in my ear. It was only a con­certed ef­fort by a group of friends that chased that de­mented avian away. ‘Boo’ be­came my mid­dle name for some time af­ter that.

I know two ter­ri­ers, bat­tered and scarred, who live on a farm on Dart­moor that will face down a bad­ger, but they will not cross the yard when the goose is out there.

So, a bird with anger is­sues. No won­der then that they have been used as guards for live­stock and peo­ple since Ro­man times. But they are also de­li­cious.

As a tra­di­tional meat for the cel­e­bra­tion of Michael­mas at the end of Septem­ber, goose fairs were a tra­di­tional part of the au­tumn cal­en­dar when geese would be driven to mar­ket, first be­ing led through warm pitch and sand to coat, and so pro­tect, their feet for the miles of walk­ing. Geese from Lin­colnshire, Cam­bridgeshire and Nor­folk were driven to Not­ting­ham Goose Fair, and birds from Corn­wall and Som­er­set went to Tav­i­s­tock in Devon.

To­day we eat them mostly at Christ­mas and they are a rare treat af­ter dry, taste­less turkey. One rea­son for that is the fat which cov­ers the bird and bastes it to a rich but­tery taste as it roasts. But one goose will only feed six, whereas a turkey of

the same size will feed many more and how many of us have the lux­ury of two ovens (well, me ac­tu­ally) and there­fore I rec­om­mend a recipe that al­lows you to feed 10-12 from a sin­gle goose.

So here is my Three-course Goose dish, fea­tur­ing con­fit goose leg with scallops and Hoisin dress­ing, goose sausage on rosti with caramelised quince and em­brillo/sherry sauce, then roast goose breast.

Firstly, you need to be­gin 48 hrs be­fore your meal. Sorry, that’s just the way it is to have this de­lec­ta­ble dish.

Take the legs off the bird and salt them us­ing a mix­ture of 4 tbsp coarse sea salt, 4/5 sprigs of fresh thyme, four finely chopped bay leaf, six fat cloves of gar­lic, chopped and ½ tbsp fresh crushed black pep­per. Leave in the fridge for 24 hours.

Take the breasts off the goose, trim the fat and re­frig­er­ate un­til needed.

With the giblets (heart, liver, neck meat, giz­zard) and the meat left on the bones, trimmed of sinew and blitzed briefly in a food pro­ces­sor, add a pack-anda-half of sausage meat from your butcher and a cof­fee mug of fresh bread­crumbs.

Add a cou­ple of cloves of gar­lic, three large ba­nana shal­lots which have been soft­ened in but­ter with a cou­ple of sprigs of fresh thyme and a glass of red wine, re­duced to a ta­ble­spoon. Form into a sausage shape and roll in cling film, knot­ting the ends tightly and poach in salted wa­ter for 15 min­utes. Al­low to cool, then re­frig­er­ate un­til needed.

Wash the salt and aro­mat­ics off the legs and pat dry. Cover in goose fat in a casse­role and place in an oven at 130 de­grees C/gas 1 for 2-2½ hrs or un­til the meat is very soft. Cool and re­frig­er­ate un­til needed.

Mix two ta­ble­spoons of Hoisin sauce with juice of a lime, two tea­spoons of toasted se­same oil, half a clove of grated gar­lic and the same amount of gin­ger. Whisk in a plain oil un­til a dress­ing con­sis­tency is reached.

For the first course - con­fit goose leg with scallops and Hoisin dress­ing Make a salad with cu­cum­ber, car­rot, and spring onion cut into match­stick sizes. Take the goose leg out of the fat and re­heat in a hot oven, 200 de­grees C for 10/12 min­utes or un­til heated through.

Shred the meat from the bones with two forks and keep warm un­der some foil. Tak­ing two scallops per per­son, brown them in a mix­ture of but­ter and olive oil tak­ing care not to over­cook them. If you put twelve scallops in a pan, turn the first as soon as you have placed the 12th, keep turn­ing them un­til all of them have both sides at the heat.

Place a small salad in the cen­tre of your plate, add a squeeze of lime and sea­son. Place a heaped ta­ble­spoon of goose con­fit on the top fol­lowed by two scallops. Dress with the Hoisin vi­nai­grette. wa­ter un­til the wa­ter runs clear of starch. Leave to dry on kitchen towel. Peel your quince and cut into four, core, and de­pend­ing on size, cut in half again. Al­low to slowly cook in melted but­ter un­til dark browny or­ange and just slightly al dente.

Chop a shal­lot with a sprig of thyme and a crushed clove of gar­lic and fry un­til golden, deglaze the pan with 100ml of medium sherry and al­low to re­duce by half. Add 200ml chicken stock and re­duce by half, add a half ta­ble­spoon of mem­brillo (quince paste) or to taste and heat un­til the sauce is bub­bling. Taste and sea­son.

Add an egg white to the potato/ onion mix and mix in enough corn­flour to make a sticky mix - ad­just with egg or corn­flour as needed.

Fry in hot oil un­til browned and crispy. Fry the goose sausage in an­other pan at the same time un­til browned on all sides. Slice the sausage and place on top of a rosti per plate, with a piece of quince on top of ev­ery­thing and driz­zle over the sauce.

For the third course - roast goose breast Heat a heavy oven tray and lay the goose breast fat side down. Sea­son the meat and cook for ten min­utes. Turn them over and sea­son again and cook for an­other 20 min­utes for pink. Al­low to rest for ten min­utes be­fore slic­ing thinly and serv­ing with roast pota­toes and veg­eta­bles of your choice. Chris does cook­ery classes and work­shops from The Kitchen in Dart­ing­ton. More de­tails at chris­sh­erville.com

Ev­ery month, ex­clu­sive to Devon Life, top chef brings us the lat­est from his ho­tel

Michael Caines

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