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Roast Goose With Spiced Apples And Figs

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5-6 kg (10-12 lb) oven-ready goose
1 medium and 1 large onion
1 carrot
1 celery stick
375 g (12 oz) dried figs
60 g (2 oz) butter
180 g (6 oz) fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley plus sprigs, to garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme plus sprigs, to garnish
Salt and pepper
1 small loaf of bread
8 small apples
16 whole cloves
30 g (1 oz) light muscovado sugar
teaspoon ground mixed spice


Serves: 8


1 Remove giblets from goose and put in a saucepan, removing liver (see Cook's Tip). Cut the medium onion in half and add to pan with the carrot, celery and 1.1 litre (2 pints) water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 1 hour. Strain the giblet stock and reserve.

2 Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F/ Gas 4). Chop the large onion. Chop the figs. Melt 30 g (1 oz) of the butter in a saucepan. Add onion and fry for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add 250 g (8 oz) of the figs, the breadcrumbs, egg, chopped parsley and thyme. Season lightly with salt and pepper and mix well together.

3 Pack half the stuffing into the neck end of the goose. Tuck flap of skin under bird and truss it with the wings folded under the body and the legs tied together with string. Place goose on a rack standing over a roasting tin. Shape remaining stuffing into 2.5 cm (1 inch) balls.

4 Remove crust from loaf of bread and push bread into body cavity of bird to absorb fat during roasting. Cook goose in the oven for 2¾ hours.

5 Meanwhile, core apples and cut a thin slice off top of each. Stud each apple with 2 whole cloves. Stand in a roasting tin. Mix the remaining chopped figs with sugar and mixed spice and pack into apples, letting excess stuffing rest on top of the apples. Melt remaining butter and pour over apples.

6 Thirty minutes before end of goose roasting time, place apples and stuffing balls in oven, basting the apples frequently with butter.

7 To test if goose is cooked, pierce thickest part of thigh with a skewer, the juices should run clear. If not cooked, return to oven for a little longer.

8 Transfer goose to a large, warmed serving dish and surround with the spiced apples and stuffing balls. Keep warm.

9 Pour off all the fat from roasting tin. Add 600 ml (1 pint) reserved giblet stock, making up with water if necessary. Bring to the boil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Strain into a warmed gravy boat or jug.

10 Garnish goose with sprigs of parsley and thyme and serve with the gravy.

COOK'S TIPS:- If liked, reserve the goose liver, chop it finely and add to the stuffing, frying it with the onion. Roast potatoes are delicious cooked in goose fat. Add them to the roasting tin about 1 hour before the end of cooking time.

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