Christmas Goose Pie recipe

Goose at Christmas was certainly a traditional fayre for the Victorian era although many people did have Chicken as well as Turkey:

“What’s to-day?” cried Scrooge, calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes, who perhaps had loitered in to look about him. “Eh?” returned the boy, with all his might of wonder. “What’s to-day, my fine fellow?” said Scrooge. “To-day?” replied the boy.  “Why, Christmas Day.” “It’s Christmas Day!” said Scrooge to himself.  “I haven’t missed it.  The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like.  Of course they can.  Of course they can.  Hallo, my fine fellow!” “Hallo!” returned the boy. “Do you know the Poulterer’s, in the next street but one, at the corner?” Scrooge inquired. “I should hope I did,” replied the lad. “An intelligent boy!” said Scrooge.  “A remarkable boy! Do you know whether they’ve sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there — Not the little prize Turkey: the big one?” “What, the one as big as me?” returned the boy. “What a delightful boy!” said Scrooge.  “It’s a pleasure to talk to him.  Yes, my buck.” “It’s hanging there now,” replied the boy. “Is it?” said Scrooge.  “Go and buy it.” “Walk-er!” exclaimed the boy. “No, no,” said Scrooge, “I am in earnest.  Go and buy it, and tell them to bring it here, that I may give them the direction where to take it.  Come back with the man, and I’ll give you a shilling.  Come back with him in less than five minutes and I’ll give you half-a-crown.” From Stave 5: The End of It – Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

But back to the goose. Now if you are going to cook goose it’s worth remembering that the fat content of goose is higher than poultry and most other game birds, however it is comparable to or maybe even less than many cuts of beef or lamb. It is also a good source of protein and iron so there is some balance.

Mrs Beeton was advising that turkey was best boiled and served with celery sauce as it was apt to be dry and stringy. But our best bet is find local butcher explain exactly what you want and they are sure to help…my butcher is excellent. So here is a recipe for a Goose Pie from ‘Directions for Cookery; being A System of the Art in It’s Various Branches by Miss Leslie (Author of ‘Seventy-five receipts)’ published in 1837.

These pies are always made with a standing crust. Put into a sauce-pan one pound of butter cut up, and a pint and a half of water ; stir it while it is melting, and let it come to a boil. Then skim off whatever milk or impurity may rise to the top. Have ready four pounds of flour sifted into Continue reading


Christmas Pie recipes

1859 and The Modern Cook has a wonderful somewhat challenging recipe for a Christmas Pie.

The book makes claim to some very good credentials so off we go.

‘First, bone a turkey, a goose, a brace of young pheasants, four partridges, four woodcocks, a dozen snipes, four grouse, and four widgeons (These are freshwater duck of Eurasia and northern Africa related to mallards and teals) then boil and trim a small York ham and two tongues.

Season and garnish the inside of the fore-named game and poultry with long fillets of fat bacon and tongue, and French truffles ; each must be carefully sewn up with a needle and small twine, so as to prevent the force-meat from escaping while they are being baked.

The Christmas Pie

When the whole of these are ready, line two round or oval braising- pans with thin layers of fat bacon, and after the birds have been arranged therein in neat order, and covered in with layers of bacon and buttered paper, put the lids on, and set them in the oven to bake rather slowly, for about four hours: then withdraw them, and allow them to cool.

While the foregoing is in progress, prepare some highly-seasoned aspic-jelly with the carcasses of the Game and poultry, to which add six calves-feet, and the usual complement of vegetables, &c, and when done, let it be clarified: one-half should be reduced previously to its being poured into the pie when it is baked. Make about sixteen pounds of hot-water paste (No. 1251)


Ingredients:—One pound of flour, four ounces of butter, a teaspoonful of salt, about a gill and a half of hot water.

Place the flour on the pastry-table, spread it out with the back of the hand, so as to form a well or hollow in the centre, into this put the salt. Next, put the butter and water into a stew pan over the fire, and when they are sufficiently heated, so that one can just bear the finger in, pour them both gradually in upon the flour, and mix them quickly together with the hand, taking particular care to knead the whole firmly, and at once, into a compact paste: then press this smoothly together in a napkin, and afterward keep it covered up in a stew pan in a warm place till used.

and use it to raise a pie of sufficient dimensions to admit of its holding the game and poultry prepared for the purpose, for making which follow the directions contained in the foregoing article. The inside of the pie must first be lined with thin layers of fat bacon’ over which spread a coating of well-seasoned force-meat of fat livers (No. 247)


Take the whole or part of a light-coloured calf’s liver, or several fat livers of any kind of poultry, if to be obtained. If calf’s liver be used, cut it into rather small square pieces, and, if time permit, steep them in cold spring water, in order to extract the blood, so that the force-meat may be whiter. Take the pieces of liver out of the water, and place them upon a clean rubber to drain the water from them. Meanwhile cut some fat ham or bacon (in equal proportion to the liver) into square pieces, put them into a sauté-pan on a brisk fire to fry, after which add the pieces of liver, and fry the whole of a light brown colour; season with cayenne pepper and salt, and a little prepared aromatic spice (No. 1250)


Take of nutmegs and mace, one ounce each ; of cloves and white pepper-corns, two ounces each ; of sweet-basil, marjoram, and thyme, one ounce each, and half an ounce of bay-leaves : these herbs should be previously dried for the purpose : roughly pound the spices, then place the whole of the above ingredients between two sheets of strong white paper, and after the sides have been twisted or folded over tightly, so as to prevent as much as possible the evaporation of the volatile properties of the herbs and spices, place them on a baking sheet in the skreen to become perfectly dry ; they must then be pounded quickly, sifted through a fine hair-sieve, corked up tightly in a dry bottle, and kept for use.

some chopped mushrooms, parsley, and three shallots. After this, take the pieces of liver and ham out of the pan, lay them on a chopping-board, and Continue reading