Don’t feel sorry for John, that’s not his empty wine glass. John was on the front line, dicing onions as a member of Team Soup at our Traditional Old English Christmas Dinner. And he certainly wasn’t crying the remainder of this Gourmet Club cooking and eating extravaganza, I can attest to that. This was the evening we learned the technique for roasting a whole goose. The recipe is at the waaaay bottom of this post.
Gourmet Club: four couples, connected by the women. Laura was my first employee. I introduced her to Marlene, longtime friend and fellow home economist. They became fast pals. Laura introduced Marlene and me to Ricki, her BFF since high school. Marlene literally forced Laura to play in a golf tournament where she then met Jeff — Marlene knew Laura’s future husband first. Larry and I are the Old Married Couple in the group, but as the three women also became hitched, couples got together. See the last photo in this post for “couples” ID.
This was Ricki and John’s turn as Gourmet Club hosts, and they took us on the road to Virginia Evan’s culinary school, Create ‘N Cook in Sierra Madre. Note the gorgeous teaching kitchen designed by Marlene. Ricki and John did their homework to pair wines to the menu; God forbid we have a meal course without a NEW wine.
Besides Chef Ginny, only Marlene had ever eaten goose – she was a food editor at Better Homes and Gardens once upon a time. Chef purchased the goose at Gelson’s, rather pricey little bugger ($100, yowza). So, no time like the present to have this experience!
Traditional Old English Christmas Dinner Menu
APPETIZER (Patti & Jeff): Smoked Salmon on Toast Points with Dilled Egg Salad ~ Champagne; Chardonnay, Cupcake Vineyards, Central Coast 2008
SOUP (Marlene & John): Medieval Pea Soup with Ginger, Saffron and Almonds ~ Chardonnay, Cupcake Vineyards, Central Coast 2008; Riesling, Firestone Vineyard, Central Coast 2008
MAIN – recipe follows (Chef Ginny): Julia Child’s Roast Goose with Port Wine Gravy, Apples and Prune Garnish
SIDES: (John) Oven Baked Potato Galette & (Ricki) Roasted Seasonal Vegetables ~ Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Zinfandel, Seven Deadly Zins Lodi Appelion-Zinfandel 2008, Michael & David Phillips, Vintners
DESSERT (Larry & Laura): Sticky Toffee Pudding with Toffee Sauce ~ White Port, Spanish or Portuguese
How to Make a Whole Roasted Goose with Port Wine Sauce ~ Recipe from Julia Child, The Way to Cook
9 to 11 pound goose (for 8 to 10 servings)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1 teaspoon dry sage
1 quarter of onion
1 stalk celery
1 large carrot
2 to 3 cups red wine or water
1/2 cup Port wine blended with 2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups chicken broth or drippings
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Pull all of the fat out of the goose cavity and cut off the wing tips. Place goose in a roasting pan with a rack that has a tight lid, or you will cover tightly with foil.
Rub inside and outside of the goose with lemon (Chef Ginny used an orange this evening). Salt and pepper the inside of the goose.
Rub dry thyme and sage inside the cavity.
With a sharp skewer or darning needle, prick the goose skin (not the meat) all around the lower breast and thighs. This helps drain the fat from the skin.
Place chopped carrot, onion and celery in the bottom of the roasting pan and place the goose on top. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water in the bottom of the pan.
Cover pan tightly with lid or foil. Roast for about 3 1/2 hours. Uncover occasionally, drain off fat and add more water. Add 1 cup red wine for the last hour of cooking. Remove foil to brown the last 30 minutes of cooking. Internal goose temperature when cooked should be 185 degrees F.
Sauce: Add port wine with cornstarch and chicken broth to the roasting pan drippings and cook until thick. Serve slices of goose topped with sauce.
Apparently, some members of the Gourmet Club yearn to be featured on Worth The Whisk, so here are the cast of characters, see below: John #1 goes with Ricki #2. I’m #3 and Larry is #4. John #5 goes with Marlene #7. Jeff is #6, he belongs to Laura #8. Chef Ginny is #9. There will be a quiz later.