Saturday 16 January 2016

Free range, grass fed goose - one for the pot

Eating as much grass as three sheep
Do you eat free range, organic chicken? If you do...... read on because this post is about eating goose, wild goose, goose that is definitely organic and has led a life doing what geese do, so no welfare issues here. Neither are they an endangered species here on the west coast, they are a feral and non-migratory.

Seventy years ago greylag geese from the west of Scotland were introduced to and bred in England for hunting. During the intervening eighty or so years their numbers have grown from about 1,000 to an estimated 100,000. The greylags eat grass mostly, four of them eating as much as a sheep.

For the past couple of weeks a gang of about thirty ( the equivalent of seven sheep) have been grazing the hay park so I thought, " the season doesn't end until the 20 th February so I'll have one for the pot". It would be dispatched quickly and humanely with a rifle, not blown to bits with a shotgun so easier to pluck, clean, cook and eat ( no lead shot to pick out of the meat).

There is a downside. Wild geese do a lot of flying, therefore are muscular and tough, flying uses a huge amount of energy so there is little time to lay down fat; the meat can be very dry. Geese are definitely a game bird so are not lacking flavour and require a specialist approach to cooking. Hanging to mature them isn't necessary Hanging game is an obsession of upper class cook book writers and weird aristocrats who like to eat stuff that is in an advanced state of putrefaction.

The goose is now ready to pluck, clean and cook; the subject of another post perhaps.

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