Make the stuffing. Boil the
potatoes for 10-15 minutes
until soft enough to mash, then drain. Meanwhile, heat the butter
in a large pan and fry the leeks,
garlic and thyme leaves, stirring
occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until
soft. Mash the leeks and potatoes
together with the parsley, lemon
zest and salt and pepper. (This can
be prepared up to a day ahead and
kept in the fridge until needed.)
Preheat the oven to fan 200C/
conventional 220C/gas 7. Pull
out the two big lumps of fat from
inside the cavity of the goose. Use
a skewer to prick the skin all over,
especially on the legs – try not to
pierce the flesh. Rub lots of salt
over the skin and in the cavity. Pack
the cavity with stuffing, then loosely
tie the legs together with string.
Lift the goose onto a roasting rack
in a large roasting tin. Roast for
30 minutes. Reduce the oven to fan
160C/conventional 180C/gas 4
and roast for another 2⁄2½hours.
Meanwhile, make the gravy and
stuff the apples (see steps 4 and
5). Check during roasting that the
fat released from the goose hasn’t
risen to touch the bird – if it’s close,
carefully pour it into a bowl. At the
end of the roasting time, check the
bird is cooked by inserting a skewer
into the thickest part of the thigh to
see if the juices run clear; if not,
give it another 15 minutes and
check again.Remove from the oven
when ready and increase the heat
to fan 180C/conventional 200C/gas
6, for the apples. Allow the goose to
rest for 20 minutes before carving.
For the gravy, heat the oil in a
heavy-based pan over a highish
heat. Fry the goose neck, gizzard
and carrots for 10 minutes until
brown. Add the onion, leek
trimmings and herb stalks and cook for 5 minutes. Pour over the
wine and port and boil for 5 minutes
until reduced and syrupy. Pour in
the stock, stir well and simmer for
about 20 minutes until you have a
mahogany gravy. Strain into a small
pan, ready to reheat before serving.
For the apples, mix the cranberry
sauce and cranberries in a bowl.
Cut a thin slice off the bottom of the
apples. Score the skin all round
their middles, then tunnel out the
stalks and cores. Stand the apples
on a shallow baking tray. Pile the
cranberry mix into the cavities, top
with a dot of butter and scatter over
the sugar.While the goose is
resting, increase the oven to fan
180C/conventional 200C/gas 6.
Bake the apples for 20-30 minutes
until soft and starting to split and
the cranberries are oozing juice.
Reheat the gravy. Put the goose
on a large platter, surrounded by
the apples and sprigs of parsley.
Serve with the potato stuffing,
Quick braised celery and carrots and the gravy. And
what to do with all the goose fat?
Use it to make the duck confit
and the roast potatoes.