It was only when I moved to England that I ate goose for the first time.

There’s no finer meat to serve at Christmas.

In the UK, now is the time to place an order.

Below is my recipe for a foolproof goose. It might take a while to prep, but it is well worth it.

Ingredients:

One 10 – 12 pound goose should serve 7 people.

Salt

Pepper

2 tsp granulated or caster sugar

2 tbsp sherry or balsamic vinegar

You will need a rack and a large roasting tray for this as well as two saucepans: a large one for stock and a small one for fat rendering. On the day of roasting, you will need a turkey baster and a large measuring jug.

Method:

Let the goose air dry for at least 12 hours before cooking (instructions below).

Make stock while the bird dries out so that it is ready when you want to make the gravy or jus.

1/ For the stock, you will need the wings. With sturdy kitchen scissors, cut the wings off at the body of the goose, then cut into equal portions.

2/ Put the wing pieces along with giblets and neck into a saucepan to brown and caramelise. When caramelised on both sides, cover with water, cook and reduce to make goose stock. Season with salt and pepper. This takes about one to two hours. When the stock is finished, set it aside to cool.

3/ Reserve the liver for a separate delicacy for two people, lightly sautéed in butter for a minute or two each side to place on warm, buttered toast. Salt the liver just before serving. Drench the butter over it and the toast. (You can have that the day before you have the roast goose or on the same day. With liver, the sooner the better.)

4/ Begin preparing the bird the day before roasting. Start by breaking the legs of the goose by stretching backwards without breaking the skin. This will make it easier to carve once you have roasted it.

5/ Remove any excess fat from the goose cavity and render gently over low heat in a non-stick pan. This is the best fat from the goose. Once cooled, pour into a sterilised jar and keep for roast potatoes. (Heat a tablespoon of fat at 375 deg. for 10 minutes, then put halves of dry par-boiled potatoes in it to roast for approx. 30 minutes.)

6/ The day before roasting, pour boiling water over the goose (with innards removed), pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Coat the outside with salt, vinegar and sugar (a somewhat traditional Chinese method for duck) and rest on a rack over a roasting tray. Let it sit in a pantry overnight.

7/ For roasting, put the goose on the tray over the roasting pan into a preheated oven at 500 degrees for 20 minutes.

8/ With a turkey baster, remove any fat from the pan into a measuring jug.

9/ Turn down the heat to 350 deg. or 325 deg. for two hours.

10/ Keep removing fat with a turkey baster into the same measuring jug.

The oven temp. is an advisory. If the goose starts to get too brown and the meat is not cooked, perhaps the heat is too high.

My Christmas goose takes about two to two-and-a-half hours to roast following this method.

11/ Keep the fat in the jug to cool. Reserve later for roast potatoes (as above). Have sterilised jars at the ready. You should have nearly a year’s worth of goose fat to refrigerate and use as you like.

12/ Let the cooked goose rest for about 45 to 60 minutes before carving.

13/ Make a jus with two tbsp. (approx.) flour, mix into remaining fat, then add Port or red wine. Make sure that is evenly mixed and cooked. Add some of your goose stock (from Step 2 above) gradually to thin slightly for a light jus to pour over the goose. Reserve any spare jus and refrigerate.