Hung for two days in the garage and sitting in the bottom of my freezer for the last three years, I was wondering if the goose was still good. One of a snow and specklebelly pair that I had taken in the Sacramento Valley while trying out a new SP10 and 3-1/2” Remington 1187, it fell to the matched Federal Premium Blackcloud BB-sized pellets.
When I was done with the aging process and had plucked them (the fresh hearts and livers had gone into a Ziploc, the day the geese were taken, for a later liver paté greatly enjoyed and long missed) I wrapped them in a three layers of cellophane.
Surprisingly, three years later, not even a trace of freezer burn!
Originally, I was going to do a book review of Chef John D. Folse hunter’s cookbook bible, After the Hunt, but then something wonderful happened—the first round of figs turned a beautiful dark purple, signaling their ripeness!
My huntin’ buddy Hank Shaw has written an number of articles on syrups, and one fig syrup recipe caught my eye. But, I enjoy eating my figs fresh and whole, so in order to stretch them, I decided to make the sauce for my goose more like a turkey’s cranberry sauce, thick and more like a jam.
On the subject of the meat and “things not to do” once again surprised me by actually doing them. Always told that refreezing meats would make them somehow worse didn’t seem to be true with this goose.
Two weeks ago, I had gone through the whole process of defrosting and brining the goose, but when the day came for cooking, I realized I didn’t have all the ingredients for the full dinner, nor the time—probably happened to you as you remembered a dinner or other meeting almost too late?
Taking the goose in the pot that it had been sitting in to dry (I like to remove the brine for a day to let the skin dry in order to improve the browning and crisping of the skin), I put the whole thing in the meat freezer.
A week later, I had everything and the time….defrosting again, with trepidation: I was told that meat frozen and refrozen is just horrible….And when it was all done, the goose was delicious!
Since the Fig Sauce takes the longest, make sure to prepare it first.
Specklebelly Goose with Fig Sauce
Fig Sauce Ingredients:
1 can chicken broth
1 tsp Herb de Provence
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups of Pinot Noir (in this recipe a bottle of 2007 Peters Vineyard from Papapietro-Perry Winery was used)
1. Finely chop six figs and add to a saucepan.
2. Save four figs and cut them lengthwise into sixths and set aside.
3. Add all ingredients and bring to a fast boil, thicking the sauce through evaporation—about 25 minutes on high heat. Sauce should be the consistency of thin jam.
4. Add the figs slices and simmer for another 10 minutes and set aside.
1 Specklebelly goose
1 large red onion
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Black pepper
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1. Brine the goose over night in a gallon of water with one cup each of sugar and kosher salt (use only ceramic or plastic containers so that there’s no reaction of the brine with metal).
2. Drain the brine and pat away the excess moisture on the goose and place it back in the empty brining container
3. Let is dry in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
4. Place the red onion in the cavity and rub the goose skin olive oil and then the salt and black pepper. Truss the legs or simply stick in the open cavity under the tail.
5. Place in a cast-iron skillet and place in an oven that has been preheated to 400-degree Fahrenheit.
6. Roast for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees.
7. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes and then carve, serving with a two cooked fig slices and sauce.
8. Save the goose drippings and use to brown the potatoes.
Roast Potatoes with Salsa de Mani (Peanut Butter Sauce)
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Modified to use country roast potatoes instead of the traditional boiled, this family recipe has been served by mom ever since I can remember. An Ecuadorian recipe of Inca origins, it’s normally served with that other Incan delicacy, cuy (roast guinea pig).
6 Red Potatoes
3/4 Cup Chunky Peanut butter (sweetened)
1/2 Cup White onion, thinly sliced crescents
1 tbsp of Achiote seeds
1 Cup Milk
1 whole Onion
Pinch of salt
- Wrap the potatoes in moistened paper towel and put them in the microwave for 6-7 minutes until soft to squeeze.
- Quarter them and dowse with olive oil.
- Fry the achiote seeds until the oil leeches out.
- Remove the seeds and then fry the onion in the red-tinted achiote oil until they’ve sweated and translucent.
- Add the milk, pinch of salt, and then disolve the peanut butter in the milk, stirring as it comes to a low boil. Don’t over cook the sauce. It should be creamy and the consistency of almost watery tooth paste, not peanut butter.
- Put the quartered potatoes in skillet previously used to roast the goose, uncovered, to brown in a 500 degree Faranheit oven, 10-15 minutes.
NOTE: I used the Big Green Egg for the goose and the potatoes.
Total Preparation Time: 2 days