Chef's Recipes

Roast goose with pickled cherries

Australian Gourmet Traveller Christmas recipe for roast goose with pickled cherries by Andrew and Matt McConnell

By Andrew & Matt McConnell
  • Serves 6
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 40 mins cooking plus salting, pickling, resting
Roast goose with pickled cherries
Roast goose with pickled cherries

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.


  • 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 sea salt (1/3 cup)
  • 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


  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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.
  • 3
    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.
  • 4
    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.
  • 5
    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).
  • 6
    Serve goose and legs with purslane, pickled cherries, <a href="bread_stuffing.htm">bread stuffing</a> and <a href="glazed_dutch_carrots.htm">glazed Dutch carrots</a>.


Geese are available from select butchers and may need to be ordered ahead. Quatre-épices, a blend of various spices, is available from
. 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.

  • Author: Andrew & Matt McConnell