Christmas Goose

Is there anything that sounds more traditional than that?  The words “Christmas Goose” conjure up images of a traditional, old world holiday dinner, like Bob Cratchit sat down to with his family in that Charles Dickens novel.  At least, until Scrooge screwed things up by sending over the old, overgrown, and probably tough & stringy turkey.

The Christmas Goose is a tradition we need to resurrect, especially if you are a hunter and bag your own birds…. or if you have a friend who is kind enough to hook you up.  Thank you Rob!

You’ll notice from the pictures that I didn’t do a classic whole roasted bird.  That’s simply because it isn’t the best way to prepare goose.  You’ll be seeing this a lot as this blog goes on.  The breast meat of ducks and geese is best served relatively lightly cooked, while the leg quarters and wings require longer, slower cooking to be at their best. My waterfowl recipes are often going to involve breaking down the birds and cooking the breasts and leg quarters separately.  All right, I am working on a whole sous vide duck recipe, but that’s a story for another post.

In keeping with the old world holiday vibe, I decided to serve my goose with a Cumberland sauce.  It’s a classic British sauce made traditionally with currant jelly, Port wine, and citrus, and it used to be commonly served with game.  However, classic Cumberland can be a bit too sweet for my liking, so I modified my version of it by losing the Port and substituting a dry red wine, and by adding in the rich, savory stock you get when you braise the goose’s legs and wings.

I wanted to serve the bird over a starch, something that would elevate the dish (literally since I’m putting the goose on top of it) and would soak up the juices that run off the goose.  Can’t have that flavor going to waste.  Stuffing would work, as would mashed potatoes, but after a little consideration I chose to serve a creamy polenta with it.  Polenta is less typical than the other two choices.  It has a rich, satisfying flavor with just a hint of natural sweetness that pairs with the goose and the sauce really well.   Adding sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and a little parmesan into it, really bring the whole meal alive.

But don’t just take my word for it… Continue reading

Spicy Vietnamese Ginger Elk Noodle Bowl

Burger!  It’s what you do with the cuts and scraps of your venison that you’re not sure what to do with otherwise, right?  Once you have your loin cuts, steaks, chops, roasts, shanks, scallopini (you ARE doing scallopini, right? … we’ll talk) and maybe some stew meat, the rest goes into the grinder.   And why not?  Elk burgers are delicious, as is elk meatloaf, chili, sausage…

However, tonight I was in the mood for some noodles, and decided to make them with an Asian flair.  I adapted this dish from one usually made with pork.  Shifting  some ingredients and seasoning made this work really well with fresh game.
See if you agree.

Spicy Ginger Elk Noodle Bowl

yield: 4 portions or 2 hunter sized bowls

  • Rice Noodles                4 oz
  • Sesame Oil                   1 Tbs
  • Canola or Peanut Oil  1 Tbs
  • Minced Shallots          2 Tbs
  • Chopped Garlic            2 Tbs
  • Chopped Ginger          3 Tbs
  • Sliced Thai or Serrano Chilis   1 – 2 Tbs, depending on how spicy you like it
  • Ground Elk or other Venison  1 lb
  • Kosher Salt                 1 tsp
  • Soy Sauce                    1/4 cup
  • Fish Sauce                   2 tsp
  • Brown Sugar                1 Tbs
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Wild Mushrooms       1 cup (I used freshly foraged Chanterelles)
  • Beef Broth or Venison Stock  2 cups
  • Baby Bok Choy          2 heads, separated into individual leaves
  • Bean Sprouts             1 cup
  • Green Onions, sliced into long pieces   4 each
  • Chopped Cilantro     1/2 cup

Continue reading