"SIX GEESE A-LAYING"
As roast goose is the centerpiece of a typical Victorian Christmas dinner, Dante and Sascha decided to have a little fun and dress up for the occasion. To honour both past and present, they chose to go Steampunk style.
For those of you who may not know here is a brief description of Steampunk:
In general, Steampunk includes any recent science fiction that takes place in a recognizable historical period in which the Industrial Revolution has already begun, and it places an emphasis on steam or spring-propelled gadgets. The most common historical steampunk settings are the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
Steampunk as it PURRtains to fashion comes from remixing styles from the Victorian era, classic Goth, gypsy, and industrial fetish. It creates a unique and beautifully old-fashioned yet offbeat look.
And who better to cook this classic Victorian feast, but one of England's foremost chefs and popular TV PURRSonality, Gordon Ramsay.
They popped over to jolly old England to eat this savoury dish at one of his London restaurants called the "York and Albany" where traditional English fare is featured. They packed only one of the six geese into the PTU this time, and are keeping the rest for another time (and meanwhile, they'll have plenty of fresh goose eggs to harvest).
This is what they were served:
Gordon Ramsay’s Christmas Roast Goose
4 - 5.5kg freshgoose
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
small handful each of parsley sprigs, thyme and sage, plus extra for garnishing
a little olive oil, for browning, optional
3 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp thyme leaf
1. Calculate the cooking time (see roasting times, below). If the goose is ready-trussed, then loosen the string and pull out the legs and wings a little – this helps the bird cook better. Check the inside of the bird and remove any giblets or pads of fat. Using the tip of a sharp knife, lightly score the breast and leg skin in a criss-cross. This helps the fat to render down more quickly during roasting.
2. Grate the zest from the lemons and limes. Mix with 2 tsp fine sea salt, the five-spice powder and pepper to taste. Season the cavity of the goose generously with salt, then rub the citrus mix well into the skin and sprinkle some inside the cavity.
3. Stuff the zested fruit and the herb sprigs inside the bird and set aside for at least 15 mins. Can be done up to a day ahead and kept refrigerated.
4. Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9. If you want to give the bird a nice golden skin, brown in a large frying pan (or a heavy-based roasting tin), using a couple of tbsp of oil. Holding the bird by the legs (you may like to use an oven glove), press it down on the breasts to brown.
5. Once browned, place the bird in the roasting tin. Drizzle with the honey and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Roast for the calculated time, turning the heat down after 10 mins to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Cover the goose with foil if it is starting to brown too much.
6. Every 30 mins or so, baste the bird with the pan juices, then pour off the fat through a sieve into a large heatproof bowl . You will end up with at least a litre of luscious fat – save this for the potatoes and other veg. At the end of the cooking time, leave to rest for at least 30 mins, covered loosely with foil. The bird will not go cold, but will be moist and much easier to carve.
Cook for 10 mins at 240C/fan 220C/gas 9, then reduce to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and cook for 20 mins per kg for medium-rare, 32 mins per kg for more well-done, plus 30 mins resting.
So, it looks like this time Sascha really got Dante's goose! And when it arrived at the table, he couldn't help but say "Take a GANDER at that, will you?". It was a thing of beauty, indeed. As was his gorgeous girlfriend, of course!
They'll be back tomorrow for "The Seventh Day of Christmas with Dante & Sascha", so make sure you don't miss it. I've been told there's going to be quite a bit of 'swanning around'!