Raymond’s roast goose

Raymond’s roast goose

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(6 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins plus resting

More effort

Serves 8 - 10
Raymond Blanc's recipe for this classic Christmas bird yields perfectly tender leg and breast meat and crisp, golden skin

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving (10)

  • kcal697
  • fat49g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs3g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein52g
  • salt0.8g
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  • 4½ -5kg free-range organic goose, excess fat trimmed and discarded, legs removed; wings, neck and excess carcass removed and chopped into 2cm/¾ in pieces (about 600g/1lb 5oz)



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

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • white pepper, for seasoning
  • 2 tbsp goose fat
  • 1 small onion, cut into 3cm/1¼in pieces



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 carrot, cut into 3cm/1¼in pieces



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 25g celery, cut into 3cm/1¼in pieces



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 85g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200ml port
  • 100ml madeira
  • ½ tsp arrowroot, if needed
  • sprigs of fresh herbs such as bay, rosemary and thyme, to serve


  1. Take the goose out of the fridge 2 hrs before roasting. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Chop 1 bay leaf and the leaves from 2 thyme sprigs together. Mix with the garlic, 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt and 2 pinches of white pepper, then rub into the flesh of the goose legs.

  2. Heat the goose fat in a large flameproof roasting tin on a medium heat. Add the wings, neck and excess carcass and cook for 5 mins until lightly golden. Do not colour the bones too much, or the resulting jus will taste bitter. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and continue to brown for 3 mins.

  3. Place the goose legs, skin-side up, in the roasting tin with the bones and vegetables. Cover the tin tightly with foil and roast for 1 hr.

  4. Rub the goose crown with the butter and season well with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper. Remove the tin from the oven and increase the temperature to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Remove the foil from the tin and sit the goose crown on top of the legs and bones, which will help the heat to circulate the crown, cooking it more evenly. Roast for 30 mins until the crown is golden.

  5. Reduce oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Add the remaining bay leaf, 3 thyme sprigs and 300ml hot water to the tin to lift the caramelised juices from the pan and the bones. (It will also keep the goose moist.) Continue to cook for 30-35 mins, basting every 10 mins with the juices, until a probe thermometer inserted into the breast reads 55C.

  6. Remove the crown from the oven and wrap tightly in foil. Rest for 30 mins to allow the meat to become tender. Continue to cook the goose legs during this time. Meanwhile, heat the Port and Madeira in a small pan and simmer to reduce by half. Remove the goose legs from the oven, then place on a tray, wrap in foil and leave to rest in a warm place.

  7. Pour off the excess fat from the roasting tin and reserve (see tip, below). Remove the bones and veg from the tin and place the tin on a medium heat. Bring to the boil and stir to lift the juices. Add the reduced alcohol. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required, then pour the resting juices which have collected under the goose into the jus. If the sauce is a little thin, mix the arrowroot with 1 tsp cold water, then add a little at a time to ensure that it does not become too thick. Sieve into a warmed gravy boat. Scatter herbs over a serving platter, loosely reassemble the goose on top and serve with the sauce.

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Comments, questions and tips

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PAUL GREEN's picture
4th Nov, 2019
I did this recipe twice and the first time was greatly helped by my chef son, who did the heavy work in butchering the carcase. The second time I managed it myself, knowing the level of effort required, using a heavy knife. The results are well worth the effort, with lovely pink breast meat and soft, moist confit leg meat. It is also a process you can tackle in two stages, doing the slow-cook early in the day and roasting the breast closer to your meal time. That is useful when you have to dedicate time to present opening or visiting guests on the big day.
31st Dec, 2016
I concur with KHDT - it took me almost as long to cut off the neck, legs and wings (nearly stabbing myself multiple times in the process - Christmas was very nearly spent in A&E!) - I didn't bother trying to then cut into multiple pieces, just put the remains into the roasting pan. Completely impossible to time with a smaller bird. I tried using the roasting timer as linked to in the questions section, and the thermometer, which said about 60C before I took it out of the oven but ended up with a very raw, not just pink, but blood still oozing, bird when we cut into it after resting. We ended up having to put it back in to roast (which meant the bird ended up dry - the whole point of me using this recipe in the first place), and had our veg and potatoes as starters, rather than with the bird. Very disappointed overall - won't trust this again (and now doubting any other new recipes that I see on here). (I'm also incredibly disappointed with the BBC promoting "fake news" in its adverts - I hadn't realised that things had gotten so bad!)
28th Dec, 2016
Followed this recipe at Christmas. Not to be repeated. With a 4.5kg goose ,to dismember the legs and wings and then chop up the remaining carcass, leaving the crown takes an inordinate time. A domestic kitchen does not have the industrial cleavers at hand or poultry secateurs to make an adequate job of it. Portions of the carcass had to be disposed of as not possible to cut into 3/4" pieces. Frankly it would have been better ( and cheaper) to have bought 2 or even 3 ducks and cooked them without this hassle. Never again.
23rd Dec, 2016
Trying a third time to post my question (from a different device) :-( (It submits, then disappears from the website!) I only have a 2.8 kg goose. How do I calculate the changed cooking times? Because this recipe has difference temperatures to other ones on the internet, I can't use them to help.
goodfoodteam's picture
24th Dec, 2016
Thank you for your question. We would suggest following the recipe as is up until the end of step 3. The crown will take less time but as this is Raymond's recipe we can't give you an exact answer. We would suggest cooking it on the higher temperature until golden, turning down and then using the meat thermometer to ensure it's thoroughly cooked. Hope that helps.
23rd Dec, 2016
My goose is only 2.8kg - how do I calculate the cooking times per kg / 500g? I've tried to look elsewhere on the net, but the temperatures are different, or don't involve removing the legs, so I can't work it out. Any help before tomorrow would be appreciated! (apologies if this double posts - I've already submitted, but the question isn't showing up on the website)
23rd Dec, 2016
My goose is only 2.8kg - how do I calculate the cooking times per kg / 500g? I've tried to look elsewhere on the net, but the temperatures are different, or don't involve removing the legs, so I can't work it out. Any help before tomorrow would be appreciated!
Sarah Lienard_GF
24th Dec, 2016
Hi there, you might find the roast timer tool on this website useful! http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/tools/roast-timer 
28th Oct, 2016
Glad to see this recipe back online again. To me it sums up Christmas. I thankfully copied it into a book before it disappeared. Thanks GF team for resurrecting it :). I always butcher the bird myself at home the night before and render some of excess fat that I cut away from the body to use on my potatoes the next day. I also make a pate out of the goose liver and (per Raymond's original TV instructions) use any leftovers to make a cassoulet (its so good!). On step 5 the 35 mins tends to cook the breast well done in my oven. On step 7 there is reams of excess fat that you have to remove. Sometimes up to two pints. We never use it all. I ladle it off but the gravy can still be quite fatty. Even so the sauce is very good as a one off. I have also done a port and orange sauce with this recipe which worked well. I always slice the goose breasts (not lengthways) and shred the duck legs chinese crispy duck style and arrange it all on a big platter dish but you could serve the crown and carve at the table. But its way easier to remove the long goose breasts before hand before you start carving.
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