Roast goose on a gold platter with Christmassy vegetables & garnishes

Gordon's Christmas roast goose

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(26 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


  • 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…

  • 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 leaves


  1. Calculate the cooking time: 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Grate the zest from 4 lemons and 3 limes. Mix with 2 tsp fine sea salt, 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder and pepper, to taste.

  5. Season the cavity of the goose generously with salt, then rub the citrus mix well into the skin and sprinkle some inside the cavity.

  6. Stuff the zested fruit and a small handful of parsley, thyme and sage sprigs inside the bird and set aside for at least 15 mins. Can be done up to a day ahead and kept refrigerated.

  7. Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9.

  8. 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 olive oil. Holding the bird by the legs (you may like to use an oven glove), press it down on the breasts to brown.

  9. Once browned, place the bird in the roasting tin. Drizzle with 3 tbsp clear honey and sprinkle with 1 tbsp thyme leaves.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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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25th Dec, 2019
Delicious goose. I read so many different recipes for cooking goose before I chose this one and I was so apprehensive that I timed it to be ready an hour and a half before I needed it just in case it needed longer. I hedged my bets and, after the initial 10mins, allowed 25mins per kg. It was absolutely delicious but next time I will try 20mins per kg. I omitted the five spice powder.
25th Dec, 2019
This is the first time we have cooked or eaten Goose so it was a bit of a gamble on Christmas day, but it was a great result. The rub/glaze was really delicious. I kept the bird raised in the tin and covered in tin foil the whole time and the skin was golden and crispy. You don't get a lot of meat on Goose, but it is really a delicious flavour. Reminded me a lot of duck, it's quite a dark meat. I made it with the Date and Red Wine sauce in the "Goes well with" box a the side of the page and highly recommend that also, super tasty. On the whole, everyone loved it and i'd definitely make it again.
Matthew Mays's picture
Matthew Mays
16th Dec, 2019
Question about the temp it reads something like 240c/220fan/gas 9 I'm from the states so I'm unsure what it means I am reading it like 240for electric range 220 in a convection oven and 9 is a setting for gas?
23rd Dec, 2019
That's correct! Always best to convert using the gas temperature, as its easier and less likely to make a conversion error.
28th Dec, 2018
Second time I used this recipe, fool proof and turns out delicious
12th Nov, 2018
Seriously, if you’re looking at this before December you are too obsessed with Christmas, stop.
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!
11th Oct, 2018
Doubt this is any good for you now seeing as it was a couple years ago but, probably cling the skin with a knife and covering in boiling water begins the fat rending process. This allows the fat to render (turn to liquid) and come out of the prick holes you made and into the tray. You cook like normal. This just allows the fat to easily get out and the skin to crisp.
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!


4th Dec, 2018
Hello, what is clear honey? I am from the States and I'm not sure what "clear honey" is. Is it a honey simple syrup? Thanks!!!!
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Dec, 2018
Thanks for your question - it's the runny, pourable honey.
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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