X’MAS MORNING SERIES: STUFFED GOOSE BEAST
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas goose a lot…
But the Grinch,
Who lived just behind the screen of Who-ville,
The Grinch hated Christmas goose! The whole goose without season!
Now, please ask him why. For everyone quite guesses the reason.
It could be that the work looked a bit like fright.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his ego was two sizes too small.
Whatever the reason,
His ego or the shoes,
He sat behind the screen on Christmas Eve, hating the goose
And every whos who couldn’t see,
That the Christmas goose beast should come with ease.
Staring down from his computer with an angry, Grinchy bitchin’
At the warm lighted oven inside everyone’s kitchen.
For he knew every Who down in Who-ville beneath
Was busy now, killing that damn christmas goose beast.
“They’re preparing their stuffings!” he snarled with a sneer.
“Tomorrow’s Christmas! It’s practically here!”
Then he bitched and cursed, with his Grinch keyboard nervously tapping,
“I MUST find a way to stop what everyone’s doing!”
For, tomorrow, he knew…
All the Whos, young and old, would sit down to the sad beast.
And they’d feast! And they’d feast!
And they’d FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!
They would start on Who-skins, who-thighs and sawdust-Who-breast-meat,
Which was something the Grinch couldn’t stand in the least!
… Then the Who girls and boys
With their chaotic delights. They’d rush for the table so freaking psyched!
But the Grinch knew the damn skin is flappy, he knew even without taking a bite.
And then! Oh, the dry meat! Oh, DRY! DRY! DRY!
That’s one thing he hated! SO DRY DRY DRY DRY!
… THEN Every who would stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing
And the Whos would start on the plain goose stuffing!
They’d stuff! And they’d stuff!
AND they’d STUFF! STUFF! STUFF!
And the more the Grinch thought of the Who-Christmas-goose,
The more the Grinch thought, “I must fix this whole thing!
“Why for thirty-three years I’ve put up with it now!
I MUST fix the christmas goose from ruining!
… But HOW?”
Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!
GOT AN BRILLIANT, AWFUL IDEA!
To turn the christmas goose around,
The Grinch said, “Fuck this shit!”. He closed his computer and let the sleigh started down
Toward the homes where the Whos
Lay a-snooze in their town.
All their windows were dark. Quiet snow filled the air.
All the Whos were all dreaming sweet dreams without care.
Then he slid down the chimney. Oh a rather smooth cinch.
He thought it must be hard for Santa, who’s got fat on every square inch.
Then he slunk to the icebox. He took the Whos’ feast!
He took the Who-stuffing! He took the goose beast!
To make every who see, he thought he must make the roast such a breeze.
He turned up the oven low and slow,
With each minute his confidence grows.
He put the stuffing up the beast without a flinch.
Pinched, salted and basted the skin on every inch.
Then he tuck the whole goose in the oven with glee.
“And NOW!” grinned the Grinch, “All I have to do is wait in my sleep!”
It was morning after dawn…
All the Whos, still a-bed
All the Whos, still a-snooze
The Grinch woke up to the goose, and slowly sipped on his christmas booze.
Look at this goose inside his low oven,
Browned up all around its glory! The golden skin! It’s shinning!
A beautiful goose! With all its juice! The drippings! The moist stuffings!
He cooled the bird, wrapped it and hid it!
“Pooh-pooh to the Whos!” he was grinch-ish-ly exciting.
“They’re finding out soon that this goose is going to be surprising!
“In a few hours wait, I know just what they’ll do!
“Their mouths will start dripping a minute or two
“The all the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry YOO-HOO!”
For this year, the christmas goose is shiny and new.
So it happened on Christmas Eve in front of every whos,
“There’s a bird” Grinned the Grinch
“that I simply must prepare for dinner!”
So he cranked up the oven for what was going to make him a winner.
All the who’s smelled an aroma rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow…
And the aroma wasn’t bad at all!
Why, this goose smelled tasty!
It couldn’t be so!
But their mouth were watery! VERY!
Every who’s stared down at the goose beast,
They popped their eyes!
Then they shook!
What they saw was a shocking surprise!
A roast goose so moist, with cracking skins so bright!
Every who-guests, slim or fat
without any choices, all tipping their hats.
The Grinch did it. He stopped Christmas GOOSE from ruining!
IT WAS STUNNING AS IT WAS INSANE!
Somehow or other, it didn’t come just the same!
But very soon their curiosity flowed, the secret to the goose they must know,
Stood asking and asking: “How could it be so?
It came without efforts! It came without drags!
But it came with moist meat, golden crispies and brags!”
And they puzzled `till their puzzlers were sore.
Then the Grinch told them something they hadn’t heard before!
“Maybe goose beast,” he whispered, “doesn’t have to be a chore.
“Maybe goose beast… perhaps… could be a whole lot more!”
And what happened then…?
Well… in Who-ville they say
That the Grinch’s small ego
Grew three sizes that day!
And with every minutes that passed by, every who simply couldn’t wait.
For the Grinch brought back the goose! There’s just nothing the Grinch cannot do!
And he, with laughters in front of the christmas trees
and twinkling who-eyes on the feast…
The Grinch carved the goose beast!
Text edited from Dr. Suess’s: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Servings: 4 ~ 6 depending
The goose-beast turned out… to be not so beastly after all, weighing at about 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs) roughly which is considered quite small for a goose. If your goose is more beastly say… around 10 ~ 12 lbs, double the recipe and add 3 hours more to the cooking-time. This low-and-slow overnight method not only retains juice inside the meat, but hot-air-dries the skin during the process, preparing it to be crisped up perfectly. I like to keep the head on during roasting because a) It helps keep the breast moist by creating a completely sealed off skin-suit around the meat, and b) Are you kidding, the meats on the neck is the best part! But if your goose doesn’t come with neck and head (which is highly possible), just pull the skin around the “neck hole” together and close it with a wooden skewer or toothpick.
To be properly cooked through, sticky rice is usually soaked for at least 2 hours before cooking, but in this case we don’t have to worry about that. If the sticky rice stuffing appears to be a little undone, it will completely cook through during the roasting anyways. But if you want to make extra sticky rice stuffings on the side, just place the extras inside a bowl and cover with cheese clothe. Steam the extra stuffing for another 20 min in a steamer. If you have a favorite stuffing in mind, feel free to try it.
- Cantonese sausage and sticky rice stuffing:
- 2 cups (415 grams) of short-grain sticky rice
- 1 cup (110 grams) of cured Cantonese sausage, diced
- 1 small handful (15 grams) of dried porcini
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 2/3 cups of water
- 1/3 cup of mushroom soaking-water
- 1 tbsp of grated ginger
- 3 tsp of soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp of five spice powder
- 1/4 tsp of ground white pepper
- 1 goose (weights about 3.5 kg/7.7 lbs)
- 2 tbsp of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp of salt
- 2 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tsp of honey
- 1/4 tsp of five spice powder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
- Goose-fat mushrooms:
- 18 oz (510 grams/very roughly 3~4 cups) of assorted wild mushrooms
- 1/4 cup of goose fat
- 1 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
The days before – To make the sticky rice stuffing: Rinse/wash the sticky rice through a fine sieve until the water runs clear. Set aside on a kitchen towel. Rinse the dried porcini to get rid of dirts and sands, then submerge it in 1/2 cup of water inside a microwave-proof bowl, and microwave on high for 1 min. Let soak for a couple of min, then remove the mushrooms (squeeze dry slightly) and reserve the soaking-water.
In a heavy-bottom pot, heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium heat and cook the diced Cantonese sauce and porcini mushrooms until slightly browned, and that the sausage starts to render out its fat. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Then add the sticky rice, stir to coat the grains with oil and cook until they starts to stick slightly to the pot. Add the water, 1/3 cup of mushroom soaking-water (careful not to include the dirt/sand that may have sinked to the bottom), grated ginger, soy sauce, five spice powder and ground white pepper. Once all the ingredients are evenly mixed, cover the pot with a lid and cook on medium heat for 15 min. Then turn off the heat completely and leave it to continue to steam for another 25 min (it’s ok if the sticky rice appears to be a little uncooked because it will be during the roasting).
The stuffing can be made a few days ahead and keep in the fridge.
The night before at 11:30 pm – To roast the goose: Preheat the oven on 230ºF/110ºC.
Rinse the clean the goose (especially the cavity) inside-out until there are no blood-clogs or internal organs left behind. With your hands, carefully separate the skin away from the meat on the chest/breast, all the way down to the inner thighs. DO NOT tear the skin, and at times a sharp paring-knife may help separating tough tissues/membrane. Mash 2 tbsp of unsalted butter and 1 1/2 tsp of salt together, and rub the mixture evenly in between the skin and the meat. This will deliver both saltiness and flavour to the meat because we are not brining. Stuff the goose-cavity with sticky rice stuffing, then with a wooden skewer or toothpick, completely close up/seal the skin (like sewing) around the cavity-opening. Do the same on the skins around the neck as well. It should be a tight, hole-less skin-suit.
Then mix the soy sauce, honey and five spice powder evenly, pat the skin dry with paper towel and brush it over every inch of the skins (including the neck). This will create beautiful color for your roast. Season the entire goose with salt and some black pepper and place it, breast-side up, on baking-rack over a large baking-sheet. Roast on the mid-level in the oven for 7 hours for 7~8 lbs goose (add 1 hour to each pound more). Yes. Why so low and why so long? Because it not only gives you succulent meat but it dries the skin for perfect crispiness during the process as well (very much like air-drying peking duck before roasting, only that it’s done simultaneously this way).
Then Go. To. Sleep.
Next morning at 7 ~ 8 am: After roasting, let the goose cool off completely for at least 1 hour (no more steam) then cover it loosely with foils to prevent drying.
At 6 pm or 40 min before serving – To finish: Preheat the oven on 400ºF/200ºC.
Wash and slice the assorted wild mushrooms and scatter them evenly on a large baking-sheet. Evenly mix with 1/4 cup of rendered goose-fat (if you don’t have enough, just add olive oil), salt and black pepper. Place a baking-rack over the baking-sheet and place the goose (foil removed) breast-side down first on the rack. Roast in the mid-level in the oven for 10 min, then turn the goose breast-side up and roast for another 15 min, until the skins are golden browned and crispy. Remove the goose and the baking rack, and let it rest for at least 25 min.
Turn the oven to high broil, and move the mushrooms to the middle-upper level in the oven. Toast the mushrooms, scrambling them occasionally, until golden browned and crispy on the edges.
Serve the goose over a bed of goose-fat mushrooms and enjoy the applause.