Roast goose

Roast goose makes a grand alternative to turkey on Christmas day - this delicious version from the Women's Institute is flavoured with sage galore
Roast goose
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 20 mins resting
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 oven-ready fresh or frozen goose, about 4.5 kg
  • 1 onion, chopped roughly
  • 10 leaves sage, or 1 tsp dried sage, plus extra sage leaves to garnish

To serve

  • stuffed apples
  • roast potatoes
  • braised red cabbage
  • gravy

Tips and Suggestions

one: The easiest way to remove excess fat is to take the roasting tin from the oven and lift the goose, still on its rack, on to a baking sheet, then pour the fat into an oven-proof basin. Replace the bird and rack in the roasting tin and return to the oven to continue cooking. Use the goose fat to roast the potatoes.

two: If the bird is frozen, remove it from the bag and place it on a tray to catch the drips in the lowest part of the refrigerator until it is completely thawed. As a guide, allow 17 hours thawing per kg, so this may take up to three days for a 4.5 kg bird.


1. Remove the giblets from the goose - you can set these aside to use as stock for gravy. Cut off the large pieces of fat from inside the bird's cavity. Rinse inside and out and pat the skin dry with kitchen towel. Season the inside of the body cavity with salt and freshly ground black pepper and put the onion and fresh (or dried) sage inside the cavity.

2. Stuff the neck end of the bird with the sage, onion and pickled walnut stuffing. Press it in as far as it will go and then pull the neck flap back over the neck and underneath. Hold the flap in place by sewing with a trussing needle and fine cook's string or use a small metal skewer.

3. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Weigh the bird and calculate the cooking time: allow 15 minutes per 450g, plus 15 minutes.

4. Rub the goose with salt and prick the skin all over, using a fine metal skewer - try not to pierce the flesh. Lay the goose on a rack or trivet in a roasting tin, breast-side down, and place in the oven for 30 minutes.

5. Reduce the oven temperature to 140C/gas 3 and continue roasting, basting frequently (that is pouring the meaty juices over the goose to ensure it stays moist). Every 30-40 minutes, pour off the fat from the roasting tin (see Cook's note one). For the last 30 minutes, raise the oven temperature again to 200C/gas 6 and turn the bird breast-side up (use oven gloves or a thick cloth). When the skin is golden-brown and crisp, cover the goose with foil to prevent further browning.

6. To test if the goose is done, insert a metal skewer into the thigh at the thickest part; if it is cooked, the juices should run clear. If they are still pink, cook for little longer. When the goose is cooked, leave it to rest on a warm serving platter, covered with aluminium foil, for 20 minutes.

7. To serve, remove the trussing string or metal skewer and carve the goose. Scoop out the stuffing and serve with stuffed apples, roast potatoes, braised red cabbage and gravy. Garnish with fresh sage.

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