Instead of traditional turkey, why not try succulent roast goose this Christmas. Transforming your Christmas table into a Dickensian feast is simpler than you might think. Roast goose has been the centerpiece of European and Chinese festival tables for centuries, and these days is more readily available  (Wickedfood Earth has a limited number  of dressed geese for sale – give us a call if you would like to buy one 072 548-8814). In this recipe, we stuff it with  fruit, which adds a delicious richness to the meat.  Goose is most easily cooked by roasting for about 2 1/2 hours in a medium oven, before crisping the skin to a golden-brown finish.

Stuffing

1 cup dried apricots or peaches

1/2 cup pitted prunes

1/2 cup pecan nuts, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 pork sausage, skinned

Goose

2-4kg goose

Fine salt

3/4t freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Cover dried fruit with water and allow to stand for 20 minutes. Drain fruit and chop.
  3. Mix together all the ingredients for the stuffing.
  4. Season goose inside and out generously with salt, then fill cavity with the stuffing. Prick skin with a skewer or the tip of a sharp knife, then sprinkle with pepper. Place goose on a rack in a large baking pan.
  5. Roast goose 15 minutes, then baste  with fat from pan.
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 170°C and continue to roast goose, basting every 30 minutes until a meat thermometer registers 75°C in the thickest part of the thigh, about 2 to 21/2 hours total.
  7. If the goose is not crispy and golden brown, increase the oven to 220°C and roast for a further 15 minutes, taking care not to burn.
  8. Transfer goose to a serving platter and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
  9. Reserve goose fat for another use, great to use for roast potatoes.

Serves 4 to 6

For more ideas on alternative  festive fowls, click here

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference. Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.