Our goose is cooked

We’ve decided we’re done raising geese. They’re too much work, too much mess, too destructive of anything they find to chew on that isn’t grass, and don’t generate nearly enough value. 30 eggs a year does not pay for their upkeep, and they have not been successful at raising broods of young that could be sold as meat geese. So they will be butchered over the next few weeks, as we find time. We did the first of four last Tuesday, and spent a delicious week using it in all sorts of ways. The meat was somewhat tough, as you’d expect in an older bird, but very flavorful.

The goose broke down into:
2 breasts
2 legs
3 gallons of stock
Giblets (heart, liver, gizzard)
Random shredded meat from the rest of the carcass
We used some of the stock to cook large batches of black beans and our own cowpeas, a trick that makes any dried legume extra-tasty. Then we combined and recombined various items into a set of good meals:
I marinated these in dark beer with juniper berries, peppercorns, caraway seeds, and our own dried tomatoes & onions. Slow-baked in this liquid, it turned out well. For the last ten minutes, I added to the oven a baking dish of pre-cooked rice and cowpeas layered with our own shredded goats-milk cheddar. Then I served it all with a side of garlic scapes, snow peas, and greens sauteed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
These, I slow-cooked in a sauce of stock, carrots, onions, garlic, parsley, and more. I had meant to make a roux and thicken the sauce into a true gravy, but ran out of time and patience so just poured the liquid over the rice & cowpeas we used on the side. This was an amazing flavor, and all the organs cooked to a nice texture and flavor. We also sauteed some baby zucchini as a side dish.
I brined both breasts, soaking them for several days in a saline solution with cinnamon and a few other spices. The first one I rubbed with honey, then roasted surrounded by chopped vegetables like carrots, garlic scapes, beets, and green garlic heads. A bit tough, but delicious.
For this one, I made a batch of tomatillo salsa from our home-canned tomatillos, dried hot peppers, garlic scapes, cilantro, and my personal spice mix. Then I slathered the salsa onto the breast, and stuck it in the oven. Meanwhile, I heated up some of the broth-cooked black beans with chopped garlic scapes, cilantro, spices, and more. When the breast was cooked, I carefully sliced it into the thinnest wafers I could, and arranged them on a plate with tomatillo salsa and black beans topped with farm-fresh goat cheese. We had intended to make tortillas to go underneath, but didn’t get around to it. It worked fine just on a plate. Again, the breast was a bit tough but the flavor was amazing.
Some of this was frozen for future use, some went into the beans, and Joanna made an egg-drop soup with the rest.
The rest of the random shredded meat went into a tomato-vegetable-cowpea soup and added a nice touch of flavor and texture.
And that’s how we got many days’ worth of enjoyable meals from one goose that outstayed its welcome.

3 thoughts on “Our goose is cooked

  1. These sound delicious. Goose is probably my favorite meat. And while tough, I imagine the older birds had a very deep flavor, as you say.

  2. Yeah, we love the eggs too, but 30 eggs a year just doesn't make the math work if there's no other benefit. Just the cost of the electric net fences they chewed up and partially destroyed wipes out the value of their eggs.But damn, do they taste good. I'll chew a bit longer to get that flavor.