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Serve up a seasonal goose

Can’t face turkey this Christmas? Revisit the traditional goose for a tasty alternative. Turkey is something of a Christmas Johnny-come-lately. The American bird muscled onto our festive menu in the 19th century and has been difficult to dislodge ever since.

Goose has a more honourable tradition as a Yuletide treat, and a well-prepared roast goose will still make the seasonal dinner feel special. It is also much smaller than a turkey so you won’t have to worry about what to do with the leftovers.

First, find your goose. Sainbury’s and Waitrose stock fresh and frozen goose. Lidl and Aldi’s German origins mean they also usually have them in stock. Most quality high street butchers will have a supply of goose or can order one for you. Look online for a range of free-range goose farms that will deliver a dressed bird ready for your Christmas table.

There are numerous recipes online and in print for spices and stuffings to flavour your goose. In general, fruit and Oriental spices like orange and star anise work well with goose, but keep them subtle so that the distinctive flavour of the meat shines through.

Cook for 10 minutes at 240 degrees, then roast at 190 degrees for 20 minutes per kilo. This will give you a medium rare result. For well-done meat, roast for 30 minutes per kilo. Use a rack for the bird, so the fat and juices can run free.

A goose produces a famous amount of fat. Somebody somewhere is probably figuring out a way to convert it into biofuel, but in the meantime use it to roast your potatoes. The results are delicious.

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