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Roast goose with pickled cherries

You'll need

1 (about 4.4kg) goose (see note) 1 orange, finely grated rind only 1 clove of garlic 2 sprigs of thyme, coarsely chopped 1 bay leaf, thinly sliced 40 gm (1/3 cup) sea salt Pinch quatre-épices (see note) 880 gm duck fat (see note) To serve: Purslane (see note)   Pickled cherries 500 gm cherries 425 ml white wine vinegar 12 black peppercorns 350 gm caster sugar 3 bay leaves


  • 01
  • For pickled cherries, place cherries in a sterilised jar and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cool, strain, pour over cherries, seal and refrigerate for 1-2 days, inverting occasionally.
  • 02
  • Remove legs from goose and set aside. Cover remaining goose with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required. Combine orange rind, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt and quatre-épices in a mortar and, using a pestle, pound to a coarse paste. Scatter quarter of mixture in the base of a non-reactive pan large enough to hold goose legs snugly. Place goose legs on top, cover with remaining mixture, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 100C. Remove mixture from legs and discard, then rinse and pat dry. Place legs in a baking dish, cover completely with duck fat and cook for 3 hours or until flesh comes away from the bone. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • 04
  • Increase oven to 180C. Remove parson’s nose from goose and discard. Heat 1 tbsp of duck fat from goose legs over medium-high heat in an ovenproof baking dish large enough to hold goose, add goose breast-side down and cook, tilting occasionally to colour evenly, for 3-5 minutes or until golden. Turn and roast for 20 minutes for medium-rare or until cooked to your liking. Cover loosely with foil and rest for 30 minutes.
  • 05
  • Meanwhile, remove legs from duck fat and cook, skin-side down, in a non-stick ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Cover loosely with foil and roast for 10 minutes. (If not roasting goose legs immediately, they will keep refrigerated, covered in fat, for up to 1 month).
Note Geese are available from select butchers and may need to be ordered ahead. Quatre-épices, a blend of various spices, is available from Herbie’s Spices. Andrew McConnell makes his own using black pepper, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. Duck fat is available from select delicatessens. Purslane is available from farmers’ markets. If unavailable, substitute with watercress.

The goose needs to be started 1 day in advance. The cherries need to be pickled for at least 1½ days and are best eaten within a few days. When they’re all gone, the pickling vinegar can be used for salad dressings or pickling other items such as rhubarb. This recipe works equally well with a large duck of similar weight.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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