Classic roast goose

Classic roast goose

You often hear that “Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a turkey”, but we'd like to suggest an alternative this festive season. Delve into preparing this classic roast goose recipe, shared by the Head Chef at our Ilkley restaurant.


  • 1 goose (3 - 3.5kg)
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 120ml Madeira wine
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 470ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 900g root vegetables, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, celeriac, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • Salt & pepper


  • Bring the goose up to room temperature before cooking. Keep it in its plastic wrapping until you're ready to cook. If frozen pull out of the freezer 1 day before to thaw.
  • Remove the neck, giblets (heart, gizzard, liver) and the last two joints of the wings, these can be used for the gravy. Slice off the neck skin, about a half inch in front of the body.
  • Remove any excess fat from the goose. Keep the goose fat as some believe it is the most delicious of all cooking fats and it's far healthier than butter or lard.
  • Next, place the fat from inside the body cavity into a bowl. Slice off the wide belly flaps covering the body cavity, remove the "Pope’s nose," which is the goose’s tail. 
  • Use a clean needle to prick the goose skin all over to let the fat release during cooking. The technique is to prick the skin from an angle, so you're not piercing the meat, just the skin.
  • Preheat the oven to 175°C, for an oven without a fan.
  • Rub the goose all over with the cut half of a lemon. Use both sides to get it nicely coated. Put the lemon remains inside the goose.
  • Sprinkle salt liberally all over the goose. Use more salt than you think you need; it helps crisp the skin and adds a lot to the flavour.
  • Slice off the top of a head of garlic and place it inside the goose.
  • Place the goose breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan and into the oven.
  • Once the goose has cooked for 20 minutes, add the root veggies, toss them in some rendered goose fat and salt before placing them in the bottom of the roasting pan. Then put the goose back into the oven for roughly an hour, basting the goose with the drippings from the pan.
  • Remove the goose from the oven when the internal cooking temperature has reached 75-80 degree Celsius, rest for 15 minutes before you carve.