Cool Springs Ranch

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All about Christmas Goose!

Posted 12/3/2012 8:00pm by Janeen Covlin.

Well, it's dangerously close to the end of the year already...If you are like me, you've been mulling around cooking and baking ideas...  (you organized people probably have it all done!)  
What's on my mind??  The Perfect Christmas Goose!  It's a very strong European tradition, but almost unheard of in Canada, since the  modern Turkey seems to "rules the roost" here.  But, hey, we're the "Melting Pot"... it's cool to shake up our food traditions and I'm really excited to serve something new to my family this holiday season!
Many of you have said "Yes! we want to try Goose,  but we have no idea what to do with it...can you share some recipes and tips?"  Well, it's my first year at this too, but I've cooked quite a few geese now and I think I have a few things figured out. Many thanks to my favorite chefs in Saskatoon for confirming my suspicions and elaborating on the idea that waterfowl pieces HAVE to be cooked differently!  Most recipes online, in my humble opinion, don't take into account the different cooking requirements of legs and breasts... They seem to be going for a beautiful "photo op"  but to the detriment of the eating experience, since they cook the bird whole to the end.  

2 noteworthy points on cooking Goose or Duck...
-  There is a drastic time difference between the time the breasts are perfect (which is rare to medium-rare) -  and when the legs are fully cooked and tender.  Therefore is it far better to take the breasts OFF the goose partway through cooking and finish them "carefully" in a pan(see recipe below), and let the rest of the bird continue roasting until tender.
- Allowing the thick skin to render out it's fat is essential to the crispy delciousness that duck and goose is famous for. You can either "score" the bird by making slices partway through the skin in a grid...or...Carefully poking many many holes through the skin at an angle ALL over the bird.  Having the bird on a rack in the pan will help your cause as well, since so much fat renders out.
So here is my pick for a well-explained Roast Goose Recipe (No point inventing my own version, since this one works beautifully) It was posted by Hank Shaw who is the Hunter Angler Gardener Cook blogger. This 2nd link has many tips for preparing all parts of ducks and geese...and I Highly recommend checking it out. He often writes about wild meat, but has plenty of experience with domestic waterfowl as well. 
I will also put on a link to Sassafrass Valley Farm one of the rare free-range goose farms in the US, which has recipies and videos that may be useful. Gordon Ramsey's video on their site shows a "whole goose" version, that cuts the legs open partway through cooking. I have not tried this, but maybe it would help.
Our Free-Range Goose is not gamey like wild geese, nor does it have the copious amounts of fat that commercial total-grain-fed geese have. But it is a  flavourful unique change from the usual chicken and turkey! I hope you can take the opportunity this year, as we won't be doing very many next year... they added a huge labour component to the farm that we didn't exactly expect!
The Geese weigh 7-9lbs and will would feed 5-8 adults. Goose and Duck  is $6.55/lb

ps  In the late-at-night rush getting the Geese packaged at the Quill Lake colony, the hearts and livers didn't get put inside the birds, but we do have them. If you would like giblets, please make a note on your order
A few other food updates...
Raw Grass-fed Pet Patties are finally back in stock! They are every dogs dream since they have plenty of Tripe, Liver, Heart in them as well as good meat! It never seemed there was enough time to make them, but Sam and I decided to take a few night shifts every now and then and hopefully they can stay in stock!
Fresh Free-Run Eggs  The chickens are inside for the winter and the young ones are finally laying...LOTS!  Rhonda Goodman will also be bringing eggs. THis month you can order ALL the eggs you want for the holidays!
Grass-fed Beef is also in good supply!
Free-Range Pork is low, but Sam butchered today and by tomorrow night, we should have the inventory back up again.  If you are interested in making pies with REAL LARD, not that hydrogentated junk on the store shelves, we have some made and more to come!
Free-Range you may have noticed, completely sold out on Thanksgiving weekend. 
I hope this finds you all well, and anticipating the warmth of sharing lots of love and real food with family and friends in a few weeks, no matter what you celebrate!
Janeen Covlin
for the Cool Springs Ranch team
Real Grass-Fed Foods
Box 184
Endeavour, SK S0A 0W0
Home (S&J) 547-4252 or 547-4779 (L&G)
Cell- (S&J)814-7188 or 547-8644(L&G)
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