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German Christmas dinner: Roast Christmas goose with chestnut stuffing

Another traditional Christmas dinner is stuffed goose with dumplings and red cabbage. There are many different options when it comes to stuffing the goose. This recipe uses stuffing made from apples and chestnuts. However, this festive feast will require some time – it takes approximately 4 ½ hours to prepare. If you prefer to make the dumplings yourself instead of serving ones made from a packet then you will need a bit longer.

(serves 6-8)

1 ready-to-cook goose with giblets (approx. 4.5 kg)
2 cans of chestnuts (425 ml each)
4 red, tart apples
1 bunch of marjoram
100 g raisins
4 tbsp lemon juice
1.6 kg red cabbage
2 onions
2 tbsp clarified butter
1 bay leaf
3-4 cloves
375 ml clear apple juice
3-4 tbsp dry sherry
1 packet of 'half & half' potato dumpling powder (for 12 dumplings)
1 jar (400 ml) goose fat
4.5 tbsp dark sauce thickener
wooden skewers and kitchen twine

Preparation of the Christmas dinner

Remove the giblets, neck and fat from the goose. Then wash the inside and outside of the goose thoroughly. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the goose cavity and cut out the fat gland. Drain the chestnuts. Wash the apples, wipe dry, quarter, remove cores and slice the quarters. Wash the marjoram, pat dry and pluck the leaves from the stalk. Save a few stalks for the garnish. Wash and drain the raisins. Combine the marjoram, apple, chestnut and raisins. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Stuff the goose with the mixture. Pin together the neck and abdominal openings with wooden skewers and tie together with kitchen twine.

Rub the outside of the goose with salt. Tie the legs and wings together with kitchen twine. Place the goose on an oven shelf with the breast side facing down. Pour 1/8 litre of water into the oven drip pan and slide under the goose. Roast in a preheated oven (electric oven: 175 °C/ fan-assisted: 150 °C/ gas: Gas Mark 2) for 3 ½ to 4 hours until crisp. Flip the goose over after 1 ½ to 2 hours and pour 1/4 litre of water into the drip pan. Roast until cooked through, basting with the meat juices several times. About 15 minutes before the end of the roasting time, turn up the temperature of the oven (electric oven: 225 °C/ fan-assisted: 200 °C/ gas: Gas Mark 4).

Clean the red cabbage, wash and cut into thin strips. Peel and finely dice the onions. Heat the clarified butter in a pan and sauté the onions and red cabbage in it. Add the bay leaf and cloves and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the apple juice and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for around 50 minutes. Add the sherry 10 minutes before you take the cabbage off the heat. Season the finished red cabbage with salt and pepper.

Stir the dumpling powder into 750 ml cold water and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Form 12 dumplings from the mixture and steep them in hot but not boiling water for around 20 minutes. In the meantime, lift the finished goose from the oven shelf and keep warm.

To make the gravy, pass the meat juices through a sieve into a pan. Take the juices from the drip pan, dissolve with the goose fat and pour in. Bring the gravy to the boil, gradually add the sauce thickener while stirring, briefly bring to the boil again and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the goose with the red cabbage, dumplings, stuffing and gravy. Garnish with marjoram, slices of apple and bay leaves.

Optional: home-made bread dumplings

(serves 6-8)

20 stale bread rolls
3-4 onions
3-4 cloves of garlic
3-4 bunches of parsley, chopped
35 g butter
900 ml tepid milk
10 eggs
3-4 tbsp flour

Preparation of the home-made bread dumplings

Peel the onions and garlic cloves, dice and sauté in the heated butter. Stir in the parsley and set aside to cool. Cut the bread rolls into thin slices, place in a large bowl and pour over the tepid milk. Mix in the eggs, salt and pepper. Stir in the onion and parsley mixture and finish by thickening with the flour. If the mixture is too runny then it can be solidified with breadcrumbs.

Form medium-sized dumplings with wet hands and steep (but do not boil) in hot salted water for around 15 minutes. The dumplings are ready when they float to the surface.

December 2012

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