Gordon's Christmas roast goose

Gordon's Christmas roast goose

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(21 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 lemons



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

  • 3 limes



    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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8th Jan, 2017
I have made this for the past 3 years running. Absolutely amazing, wouldn't change a thing! The meat was so soft and full of flavour, tasted even better cold the next day ! Added a glass of port to my gravy too which really complimented the flavours.
24th Dec, 2015
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!
26th Dec, 2014
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!
3rd Jan, 2014
We made this for Christmas dinner, the goose was absolutely delicious, everyone loved it! It's simple, and tasty.
20th Dec, 2013
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
20th Dec, 2013
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 .
25th Dec, 2014
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.
13th Dec, 2017
Totally agree with this reply to a good question. Definitely hoik out as much excess fat as you can, which will still leave plenty to "roast out". Despite this however, the bird will still dry out if not basted and this is usually more easily achieved with draining rather than a trivet. By the way, the oozles of citrusy fat makes soooo yummy roast potatoes for months to come to make this goose worth doing instead of turkey as a reason all on its own. Add to that the amazing taste of goose and any debate as to which is the bird to roast at Christmas becomes moot.
19th Oct, 2013
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!
4th Dec, 2012
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


24th Dec, 2015
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
18th Jan, 2016
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.
25th Dec, 2013
Merry Christmas! Are the lemons supposed to stay inside after those fifteen minutes in step 3?
23rd Dec, 2013
What kind of alterations would I have to make to this recipe so that I can accommodate a wild goose?
2nd Dec, 2013
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
18th Dec, 2013
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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