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Goose rillettes with pears in grape must

Australian Gourmet Traveller starter recipe for goose rillettes with pears in grape must

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 6
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 10 mins cooking plus salting, setting
Goose rillettes with pears in grape must
Goose rillettes with pears in grape must

Indulge in this luxury paté with a good bottle of red wine. You’ll need to start this recipe a day ahead.


  • 1 goose, legs and breasts removed (see note) (about 2.5 kg)
  • 1 kg coarse sea salt
  • 1 orange, zested rind only
  • 8 sprigs of thyme
  • 6 cloves of garlic, bruised
  • 600 gm skinless pork belly, bones removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 kg goose or duck fat
  • 3 tsp quatre épices (see note)
  • 40 ml Cognac (2 tbsp)
  • 60 gm unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
Pears in grape must
  • 6 paradise pears, peeled and halved
  • 150 ml saba (see note)


  • 1
    Combine goose legs and breasts, salt and half each of the orange rind, thyme and garlic in a non-reactive baking dish. Make sure goose is covered with salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 130C. Remove goose from dish and rinse off excess salt. Pat dry with absorbent paper. Combine with pork belly, goose fat, ½ cup water and remaining orange rind, thyme and garlic in a casserole. Cover and roast until meat is falling from the bone (about 2 hours), then cool.
  • 3
    Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a tray. Remove skin and bones and discard. Reserve fat. Using 2 forks, shred meat as finely as possible. Transfer to a bowl, add quatre épices, Cognac and 1/3 cup of the reserved goose fat (remaining fat can be refrigerated for up to 1 month and used for confit or as oil or butter substitutes in cooking). Mix thoroughly to combine, then pack firmly into a 1½ litre-capacity terrine. Place butter in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water and, when just melted, pour over rillettes to cover. Refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours). The rillettes will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • 4
    For pears in grape must, combine pears and saba in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until pears are glazed and syrup is thick (5-7 minutes).
  • 5
    Garnish rillettes with thyme sprigs and serve with toast and pears to the side.


The goose carcass can be used to make stock. Quatre épices is a four-spice mix of equal quantities of cloves, ginger, nutmeg and ground white peppercorns. Make the day of use for optimum freshness. Also available from
. Saba is concentrated grape must and is available from select delicatessens and
Drink Suggestion: Heady gewurtztraminer. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Lisa Featherby