If someone says they serving goose for Christmas, you probably consider it an elaborate meal. Nowadays meats like turkey or ham are far more common at the Christmas table, so the presence of goose seems like something special. It also evokes a scene in Charles Dickens Christmas Carol, where Ebeneezer Scrooge and the spirit of Christmas Present look on as Scrooge employee, Bob Cratchit, enjoys a beautiful Christmas dinner with his family. However, while now goose is an elaborate and expensive choice, for the Cratchits it was the most affordable option. Dickens writes:
There never was such a goose. Bob said he didn believe there ever was such a goose cooked. Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness, were the themes of universal admiration. Eked out by apple sauce and mashed potatoes, it was a sufficient dinner for the whole family; indeed, as Mrs Cratchit said with great delight (surveying one small atom of a bone upon the dish), they hadn ate it all at last! Canada Goose online Yet every one had had enough, and the youngest Cratchits in particular, were steeped in sage and onion to the eyebrows!
At the end of the story, Scrooge surprises the Cratchits by bringing them a fat turkey, a far more exotic meal for a family of modest means. According to Teri Metz of Schiltz this is because goose was a common, seasonally farmed bird in those times, while turkey was still seen as a fancier, New World food. “Geese were domesticated thousands of years ago, around the same time as cattle, and are a seasonal bird. The geese fatten for the winter and then are processed or harvested once a season right before they mature, so the meat stays tender and doesn get tough,” says Metz. “The seasonality of the birds ended up coinciding with the Christmas holiday.” However, now turkey and ham are much easier to mass farm, whereas goose still requires a lot of time and detail to raise right.
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Sage, onions, and apple are still great flavor pairings for goose, but since it a dark meat, it pairs well with other red meat friendly flavors. “Any kind of fruit based Chutney is delicious with goose, or an orange sauce is also a popular option,” says Metz. “Many within the family love it with salt and pepper it simple, but also love it with a good zing of mustard or even horseradish as well.”
The key to cooking a goose well is to take your time. According to Metz, “if you end up with a tough goose, it likely because you didn cook it long enough.” Goose fat also smokes at 370 so cooking it low and slow will yield the tenderest meat. Plus, it renders a good amount of fat, which can be used for roasting vegetables on the side or making eggs with the next morning. And if anything, roasting a goose is likely to impress your friends and family far more than turkey, and bragging rights are what the holidays are all about. to prepare a Christmas goose in the refrigerator 1 days for a 6 lbs, 1 days for 10 lbs or in cool water 4 hours = 6 lbs or 6 hours = 10 lbs.
What is your favorite American holiday dish?
Pumpkin pie is probably the best thing I’d never had. A lot of American food was sweeter than I was used to, but the surprising savory snap to this pie made me fall in love with it at first bite. I’ve never made it myself I’m sure I’d be tempted to trick it out with unusual spices and, to my (American) husband’s chagrin, turn it into a genuinely savory and spicy dish. In deference to my husband and his family, I leave well alone and go to my local bakery.
Sacrilegious though it may be to say so, it’s the turkey the unwieldy, gargantuan beasts that never seem to taste of much at all, until they’re overcooked, at which point they taste like slightly meaty cotton. Yes, turkeys are often served up at the Christmas table in England, but the bird of choice in the Trickett household was always a goose, or a duck or two. Roasted goose is possibly one of the most decadent tastes ever; marred only by my fathers’ insistence of keeping the goose fat to rub on his chest when the weather turned chilly. (Which, in England, means a toasty 50 degrees or so.) Neighborhood dogs would follow him around, slavering.
How do you incorporate your childhood favorites into the holidays?
I’m a Christmas pudding freak. It’s hard to describe imagine a steamed, highly alcoholic fruit cake that’s moist and sticky and gets you drunk just to smell it. Despite all the booze cooked into it, you serve it by pouring on even more rum or brandy and setting it on fire. You’re supposed to make the puddings a few weeks ahead of eating, so I’ve picked the day after Thanksgiving for my thoroughly British custom. Everyone who’s in the house at the time gets to stir the bowl and make a wish, and as the puddings steam for their mandatory eight hours, the smell wafts through the house and makes me hum Christmas carols, while everyone else is swinging handbags and elbows in the Black Friday sales.
What goes into a Christmas pudding?
What doesn’t? There are 19 ingredients in the recipe I use, and of course some of the more obscure ones are only available in large packages, yet used in small quantities, so you end up with a cupboard full of currants and candied peel.
The hardest ingredient to source is suet. I’m used to it dried, in a packet, but you can’t get that in the US. You have to buy it fresh; it’s the pearly white fat that surrounds a cow’s kidneys, and it’s not terribly pleasant to handle. http://www.icanadagoosereview.top/ One Thanksgiving I was in Houston, and went to a butcher downtown. “I’d like some suet, please,” I asked. The butcher looked incredulous, and said, “you sure?” Smiling, I said, “yes, I’m going to make my Christmas puddings tomorrow,” hoping he’d find my accent cute. He just stared, and eventually drawled, “You’re gonna make dessert with that?”
Have you wooed any of your American guests with a British favorite dish or drink?
My husband’s family are surprisingly fond of the Christmas pudding (or so they tell me). As for drinks, my parents used to invite friends and neighbors over on Christmas morning for a White Lady cocktail (or six). It’s two parts gin to one part each of Cointreau and lemon juice. My mother would keep putting her glass down to answer the door or fix someone a drink, lose track of it, and so pour another. By the end of the morning, there were at least twice as many glasses lying around than there were guests, and it was probably the only time in the year I didn’t mind tidying up after our company had left. I’ve since served White Ladies here on Christmas day; my American family loved it but, unused to gin before noon, Christmas dinner was rather late that year.
What do you miss most about England this time of year?
Old fashioned Christmas carols on the radio sung by proper choirboys (rather than the 99th hearing that week of Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas”), Marks Spencer mince pies with brandy butter, and the inevitable Christmas Day rain. OK, I don’t miss the rain.