Gordon's Christmas roast goose

Gordon's Christmas roast goose

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(18 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins. cook: 1 hr 20 mins - 3 hrs 30 mins

A challenge

Serves 6
Gordon Ramsay shows you how to cook the chefs’ choice of Christmas main courses – a golden goose. Keep the fat to use through the winter months

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal800
  • fat55g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs4g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre0g
  • protein72g
  • salt1.7g
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  • 4-5½ kg fresh goose



    A traditional alternative to a Christmas turkey, goose is packed with flavour, with rich,…

  • 4 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 3 lime



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • small handful each of parsley sprigs, thyme and sage, plus extra for garnishing



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • a little olive oil, for browning, optional
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaf


  1. Calculate the cooking time (see tips, 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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (32)

calgalsantacruz's picture

Can someone merge Gordon's tip of rendering the fat with the actual roasting of the bird please? Do I prick the skin, pour over boiling water and cook covered in foil - how long he doesn't say - initially to allow the fat to be released into the roasting tray. Then what? Cool the bird down, season and roast? This tip is not not a tip!

ChrisBryanHardy's picture

Cooked this yesterday for Christmas (5 adults and 2 children).
Recipe was so easy to follow and the end product was so tasty and enjoyed by the whole family!
Also there wasn't much meat left over which was good, nothing worse than Turkey everything for the weeks after Christmas!

iulia's picture

We made this for Christmas dinner, the goose was absolutely delicious, everyone loved it! It's simple, and tasty.

thomas5840's picture

Last time I had a goose was a long time ago and I am looking forward to this just hope I do it right I shall add a half tea spoon of Cajun spice to the five spice. Hell me north an south is watering now

thomas5840's picture

do you need to sit the Goose on a trivet so it's out of the fat instead of sat in it help please if you can will be appreciated .

peter_c's picture

You can certainly sit it on a trivet, but I just drain off the fat every 20-30 minutes. It helps if you already took out the excess fat you can find in the cavity. BTW I find there's enough fat not only for the roasties with this dinner, but the next 4-8 weeks as well.

My recommendations for accompaniments (outside the roast potatoes): spicy red cabbage (red wine vinegar, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves), glazed carrots & parsnip (sugar and orange), roasted honey apples. I make an orange and port gravy.

nickipearce-white's picture

Used this recipe for the last two Christmases and it went down a storm. Swapped it over into a new roasting tin half way through so it didn't sit in goose fat. Used the goose fat tin for my roast potatoes. Didnt like the date sauce but made a back up simple gravy with the goose stock and some red wine. Simply yummy!

valleyvals's picture

Went down an absolute storm at our last dinner party. And found the perfect white wine to water it down with Pouilly Loche Vinzelles. Chardonnay with Goose - mint! Thank you BBC Good Food, Thank you First Class Wine

eclecticcook's picture

I glazed the goose with honey, lemon juice and thyme with a bit of salt. Excellent! Stuffed the bird with celery, onion, mushrooms, and the giblets (sauted), dry bread chunks, thyme, allspice, chili powder, salt and pepper.

ghisli2000's picture

Excellent recipe and very easy to follow, its hard to go wrong really. I had never cooked a goose before and was slightly nervous but I worked out all the timing before hand it went like a dream. It is great to leave the bird to rest for half an hour and get all the veg in the oven so it's all ready at the same time. Great for a special occasion.

melaniespiteri's picture

never cooked or eaten goose before so did not know what to expect. The meat was sooo tender, juicy and tasty. Thanks to this lovely recipe we had a wonderful Christmas lunch. Everyone around the table could not get enough of it! The date and red wine sauce is also a must.

helenlwarren's picture

Does anyone know if this recipe would work with Duck? I made this last year and it was amazing, but we are having duck for Christmas this year....just wanted to know if flavours would work equally well for duck?

sideshowpen's picture

Am going to try this out for Christmas dinner this year. Does it usually need additional seasoning with black pepper or is there usually enough within the Chinese five spice?

gmunns's picture

Hmmmm Roast goose is the "fillet Steak" of the poultry world it really is. To learn about how one farmer rears and supplies Traditionally reared Free range geese go to www.munnsgeese.co.uk
They are in Cambridgeshire and deliver locally direct to your door, usually within 15 miles or so
Go on give them a go this Christmas....!!!

dazbeck63's picture

this was the first time I've cooked Goose. It went very well with the suggested Brussels and Pancetta, Cauliflower cheese and roasted potates in goose fat. I did the red wine sauce but without the dates! It was rather sharp, so next time I will try adding the dates. I will certaintly cooked again.

bowl3064's picture

First time I cooked a goose, used this recipe it was fantastic!!!!!

kirinski's picture

Followed the recipe religiously and it looked and smelled delicious actually, but the meat ended up chewy and tough!
Not sure if the problem was with the goose being too old / muscular, but the end result was not great. I am quite an experienced cook and my ducks/pheasants always come out perfectly nice so not sure what went wrong with this one. Blame the bird I say.

jaynehills's picture

this is the first time i used this recipe, i must say that its simple to follow and it worked. i am very happy with my roast goose based on this recipe and also the wine sauce to accompany the roast goose. it has made it a perfect dinner for my christmas, soooo tasty.

thank you gordon.

darkginger's picture

This worked beautifully - I stuffed my goose with a potato (and apple, onion, orange zest and thyme) stuffing, so increased cooking time accordingly - but ended up with moist meat under crispy skin. The 5 spice powder and citrus give it just the right contrast to the fatty meat - and the date and red wine sauce complements the meal perfectly. This is going to be standard Christmas fare from now on.

hombresazul's picture

I used this recipe last christmas and it was amazing. If you try this you wont want turkey again


Questions (6)

calgalsantacruz's picture

I do not understand how to incorporate Gordon's tip of rendering the fat with the recipe. How does one pour boiling water over the goose, cook it and then what? How do you put the spice on ? He leaves that bit out. Help!

goodfoodteam's picture

Many chefs pour boiling water over the skin of the goose as they say it makes it crispy, but you need to do it before stuffing or rubbing anything into the skin. As this recipe says to score the skin, which is another technique for encouraging the fat to come out of it during cooking, you don't need to worry, just follow the recipe steps.

elysa's picture

Merry Christmas! Are the lemons supposed to stay inside after those fifteen minutes in step 3?

Chimmy's picture

What kind of alterations would I have to make to this recipe so that I can accommodate a wild goose?

Roszam's picture

If I am roasting two geese in the same oven at the same time, how do I calculate roasting time - based on the total weight of the two birds? My birds are 3.8 kilos each. Thanks.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, 

There is no set formular to work this out. If you need to put the birds on different shelves in the oven - swap them half way through cooking time so they will cook more evenly. We would suggest checking the birds 15 mins before the end of the calculated cooking time and then adding on time accordingly.

Best wishes. 

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