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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.
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