Herby roast goose with crispy skin

Herby roast goose with crispy skin

A Year of Practiculture
Rohan Anderson & Kate Berry

Geese are magic animals. They keep the grass around the house block short during summer, they provide us with enormous eggs in spring and they also feed us with their delicious meat. They really are a backyard farmer’s dream bird. I’m thankful that my mate decided to experiment in keeping a small flock at his place, because it was the introduction to geese that I needed. To be honest, I hate the concept of lawns and being a slave to mowing them, so geese really are just my edible lawn mowers. Keeping lawns green requires a heap of water, which is a bit of a waste just to keep up appearances. And I’m yet to find a mower that doesn’t use some natural resources to operate, electric mowers included. But a living lawn mower that fattens up on the grass – well, that just ticks many practical-living boxes.

I’d never cooked a goose before this year, so as for all new forms of meat cooking I looked to the masters for answers. For goose I headed straight to Hank Shaw, the author of the book Duck, Duck, Goose.

I think the title of his book gives away his goose-cooking prowess. He has a technique I now use for cooking home-raised geese and it works magnificently. It’s simply a matter of removing the breast halfway through roasting, so as not to dry it out, and then crisping the skin with a quick pan-fry before serving, making the most of that delicious crispy skin. You can season the bird however you like; here I use a simple classic that works well.


Quantity Ingredient
1 whole goose
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 lemon, zest grated, juiced
60ml olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
pinch salt
roast vegetables, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Take the goose out of the fridge and keep at room temperature while the oven is warming up.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic cloves to make a paste. Add the peppercorns and crush well. Add the lemon zest and juice, half the olive oil, the thyme, and a generous pinch of salt, maybe two. Mix well to make a marinade.
  3. Rub the marinade over the entire bird, then transfer the goose to a roasting tin and roast, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
  4. Remove the goose from the oven and, using a boning knife, cut out the breast. Wrap the breast in aluminium foil and set aside to rest on the bench.
  5. Cover the rest of the goose in foil, then return to the oven and roast for a further 45 minutes. Remove the bird from the oven and allow to rest.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil until quite hot in a frying pan over high heat. Sear the goose breast skin side down for 1 minute, then flip over once to finish the other side.
  7. Slice the breast up, remove the wings and legs from the roasted goose, and serve with any other remaining bits of meat and roast veggies.
  8. Enjoy!
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