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 – A 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