Succulent roast goose is the classic centerpiece for a traditional Christmas lunch. Red cabbage cooked with leeks, and braised fennel are tasty accompaniments.

  • 4.5 kg / 10 lb oven-ready goose
  • 1 cooking apple, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths
  • 1 large onion, cut into eighths
  • bunch of fresh sage, plus extra sprigs to garnish
  • 30ml / 2 tbsp ginger marmalade, melted
  • salt and ground black pepper
For the stuffing
  • 25 g / 1 oz / 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp ginger marmalade
  • 450 g / 1 lb / 2 cups ready-to-eat prunes, chopped
  • 45 ml / 3 tbsp Madeira
  • 225 g / 8 oz / 4 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
For the gravy
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 150 ml / ¼ pint / ⅔ cup Madeira
  • 600 ml / 1 pint / 2½ cups chicken stock
Red cabbage goes well with goose. Cook 1 small leek, sliced, in 75 g / 3 oz / 6 tbsp butter, add 1 kg / 2¼ lb / 9 cups shredded red cabbage, with the grated rind of 1 orange, and cook for 2 minutes. Add 30 ml / 2 tbsp Madeira and 15 ml / 1 tbsp brown sugar and cook for 15 minutes.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6. Prick the skin of the goose all over with a fork and season the bird generously, both inside and out.
  2. Mix the apple, onion, and sage leaves, and spoon the mixture into the rump end of the goose.
  3. To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a large pan and cook the onion for about 5 minutes, or until softened but not colored. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the marmalade, chopped prunes, Madeira, breadcrumbs, and chopped sage.
  4. Stuff the neck end of the goose with some of the stuffing, and set the remaining stuffing aside in the refrigerator. Sew up the bird or secure it with skewers to prevent the stuffing from escaping during cooking.
  5. Place the goose in a large roasting pan. Butter a piece of foil and use to cover the goose loosely, then place in the oven for 2 hours.
  6. Baste the goose frequently during cooking and remove excess fat from the pan as necessary, using a small ladle or serving spoon. (Strain, cool, and chill the fat in a covered container: it is excellent for roasting potatoes.)
  7. Remove the foil from the goose and brush the melted ginger marmalade over the goose, then roast for 30-40 minutes more, or until cooked through. To check if the goose is cooked, pierce the thick part of the thigh with a metal skewer; the juices will run clear when the bird is cooked. Remove from the oven and cover with foil, then leave to stand for 15 minutes before carving.
  8. While the goose is cooking, shape the remaining stuffing into walnut-size balls and place them in an ovenproof dish. Spoon 30 ml / 2 tbsp of the goose fat over the stuffing balls and bake for about 15 minutes before the goose is cooked.
  9. To make the gravy, pour off all but 15 ml / 1 tbsp of fat from the roasting pan, leaving the meat juices behind. Add the onion and cook for about 305 minutes, or until softened but not colored. Sprinkle in the flour and then gradually stir in the Madeira and stock. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then simmer for 3 minutes, or until thickened and glossy. Strain the gravy and serve it with the carved goose and stuffing. Garnish with sage leaves.
Marmalade-Glazed Goose