Roast goose makes a wonderful feasting alternative to turkey. It’s a more pricey bird and you'll get a higher ratio of bone to meat, but the rich flavour is deeply satisfying, and as the bird roasts you'll get a good quantity of rendered fat that makes the most delicious roast potatoes

Method
1.
To make the cabbage, set the oven to 180˚C/Gas mark 4. Melt the butter in a pan, add the cabbage and cook gently with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil
2.
Cover with a paper cartouche and cook in the oven for about 1 hour or until the liquid is reduced to a glaze and the cabbage is soft
Using a cartouche
A cartouche is a circle of greaseproof paper that fits the pan and is pushed down right onto the surface of what is being cooked
3.
Make the stuffing by removing the meat from the sausage skins and placing it in a bowl with the egg. Cut the chestnuts into small, even pieces and add them to the sausage meat
4.
Peel and core the pears then cut them into small, even pieces and add to the sausage meat along with the marjoram and some freshly ground white pepper
5.
Remove all the fat from inside the goose and prick the skin several times all over with a fork. Place the bird in the sink and carefully pour three full kettles of boiling water over it
6.
Dry the goose with kitchen paper, then leave it for an hour or so to dry completely. This will help the skin to crisp while cooking
7.
Season the cavity of the goose with salt and pepper and stuff it with the pear and chestnut stuffing. Rub the breasts and legs with 2tbsp vegetable oil and season generously with salt
8.
Lay the carrots in the middle of a very large roasting tin and sit the bird the right way up on top of them – this stops the goose sitting in its fat as it cooks
9.
Cover the bird and tin with a large piece of foil, scrunching it up at the sides so it’s a tight fit, and place in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes
10.
Take the goose out of the oven. Remove the foil and carefully use a baster to suck out most of the fat from the tin into a bowl, then lightly baste the goose
11.
Re-cover with foil and roast for another hour. Suck the fat from the pan again and baste the bird, then increase the heat to 220˚C/Gas mark 7
12.
Return the goose to the oven without any foil to brown for 30 minutes until golden, then remove it from the oven and transfer it to a large board or platter to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes
13.
Keep the roasting tin contents for making the gravy. Discard the carrots or keep them for another dish
14.
To make the gravy, pour off all the fat from the roasting tin into a bowl (it can be used for roasting potatoes). Sprinkle the sugar into the tin and stir to scrape off any tasty brown bits
15.
Add the vinegar and simmer down until practically dry, then stir in the jelly to dissolve. Add the stock and bring everything to the boil. Strain through a fine sieve into a saucepan to reheat
16.
Serve the goose on a platter surrounded by watercress and the braised red cabbage, serving the gravy in a gravy boat
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Ingredients

Goose

Chestnut and pear stuffing

  • 6 pork sausages
  • 1 egg
  • 300g of chestnuts, cooked
  • 2 pears, ripened
  • 1 bunch of marjoram, chopped
  • white pepper

Braised red cabbage

  • 150g of unsalted butter
  • 450g of red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 150ml of water
  • 3 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 50ml of white wine vinegar
  • 1 Bramley apple, peeled and grated
  • salt

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For those tired of turkey and bored of beef, this roast goose recipe from Martin Wishart is bound to inspire. It makes a spectacular centrepiece to any roast


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