By Simon Arkless, head chef,

Terrace Restaurant, St Leonards Vineyard Café, Thousand Pound Wine Bar & Store

 

Having lived the first 34 years of my life in the UK, Christmas in July seemed a strange concept when I first moved to Australia, but after spending my first Christmas in sweltering heat, I soon realised that the Christmas fayre that I was used to back home wasn’t going to work in an Australian December. Seemed a shame to deprive oneself of that rich decadent winter meal, Bingo! Christmas in July.

 

I have to confess I really don’t like turkey in any shape or form, dry and bland and not very interesting to my mind. But goose, well now you are talking! Rich, moist and gamey, that’s my ideal main for Christmas in July and can be paired with all the usual Christmas trimmings like roast potatoes, brussels sprouts etc.

 

Ingredients

1 goose, weighing 5kg, oven-ready

5 carrots, peeled

 

Chestnut and Pear Stuffing

6 pork sausages

1 egg

300g of chestnuts, cooked

2 pears, ripened

1 bunch of marjoram, chopped

white pepper

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180˚C/Gas mark 4.

 

Make the stuffing by removing the meat from the sausage skins and placing it in a bowl with the egg. Cut the chestnuts into small, even pieces and add them to the sausage meat.

 

Peel and core the pears then cut them into small, even pieces and add to the sausage meat along with the marjoram and some freshly ground white pepper.

 

Remove all the fat from inside the goose and prick the skin several times all over with a fork. Place the bird  in the sink and carefully pour three full kettles of boiling water over it.

 

Dry the goose with kitchen paper, then leave it for an hour or so to dry completely. This will help the skin to crisp while cooking.

 

Season the cavity of the goose with salt and pepper and stuff it with the chestnut and pear stuffing. Rub the breasts and legs with 2tbsp vegetable oil and season generously with salt.

 

Lay the carrots in the middle of a very large roasting tin and sit the bird the right way up on top of them – this stops the goose sitting in its fat as it cooks.

 

Cover the bird and tin with a large piece of foil, scrunching it up at the sides so it’s a tight fit, and place in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes.

 

Take the goose out of the oven. Remove the foil and carefully baste the goose with the rendered fat in the roasting tin.

 

Re-cover with foil and roast for another hour. Remove goose from the oven and baste again, then increase the heat to 220˚C/Gas mark 7.

 

Return the goose to the oven without any foil to brown for 30 minutes until golden, then remove it from the oven and transfer it to a large board or platter to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

 

Keep the roasting tin contents for making the gravy. Discard the carrots or keep them for another dish.

 

Wine Match: All Saints Estate Limited Release Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre

"The rich spicy plum and dark fruits which lead into an elegant balanced finish make this wine the perfect match". 

Nick Brown, winemaker