- 1 goose, about 4.5 kg (10 lb)
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- roux for thickening gravy, to taste
- giblets (neck, heart and gizzard)
- 1 small onion
- 1 carrot
- bouquet garni, consisting of 1 sprig thyme, 3 or 4 parsley stalks, a small piece of celery
- 6 or 7 peppercorns
- 900 g (2 lb) potatoes
- 50 g (2 oz) butter
- 450 g (1 lb) onions, chopped
- 450 g (1 lb) Bramley cooking apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped lemon balm
- orange zest, to taste (optional)
- First make the stuffing. Boil the potatoes ‘in their jackets’ in boiling salted water until cooked. Peel and mash. Melt the butter and sweat the onions in a covered saucepan on a gentle heat for about 5 minutes. Add the apples and cook until they break down into a fluff, then stir in the mashed potatoes and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the stuffing to get quite cold before stuffing the goose.
- To prepare the goose, first gut the goose and singe if necessary. Remove the wishbone for ease of carving. Put it into a saucepan with the giblets, onion, carrot, bouquet garni and peppercorns. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 2 hours. (Add the wing tips to the stock if desired.)
- Season the cavity of the goose with salt and freshly ground pepper and fill with the cold stuffing. Sprinkle some sea salt over the breast and rub it into the goose skin. Roast for 2–2½ hours in a preheated moderate oven, 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4.
Take the roasting tin from the oven 3 or 4 times during the cooking and pour off the excess fat. (Store this fat in your refrigerator – it keeps for months and is wonderful for roasting or sautéeing potatoes.) To test whether the goose is cooked, prick the thigh at the thickest part. The juices which run out should be clear; if they are pink the goose needs a little longer. When cooked, remove the goose to a large serving dish and put it into a low oven while you make the gravy.
- To make the gravy, pour or spoon off the remainder of the fat and save. Add about 900 ml (1½ pints) of the strained giblet stock to the roasting tin and bring to the boil. Using a small whisk, scrape the tin well to dissolve the meaty deposits which are full of flavour.
- Taste for seasoning and thicken with a little roux if you like a thickened gravy. If the gravy is weak, boil for a few minutes to concentrate the flavour; if it is too strong add a little water or stock. Strain and serve in a hot gravy boat.
- Carve the goose. Serve with apple sauce and the gravy.