Viennese Christmas Goose
SERVES 6 – 8
Christmas goose for Christmas Day has long been a tradition in Austria (as has carp on Christmas Eve). It is usually served with red cabbage and potato dumplings. This recipe, from the Kellner family of Altwienerhof restaurant, includes roasted apples and glazed chestnuts, too.
FOR THE GOOSE:
1 11–13-lb. fresh or thawed frozen goose,
trimmed off excess skin and fat
1 tbsp. dried marjoram
1 tbsp. dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium yellow onions, peeled
6 whole cloves
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup white wine
3 cups Chicken Stock
FOR THE APPLES:
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup rum
8 mcintosh apples
2 tbsp. butter, cut into 8 pieces
FOR THE DUMPLINGS:
4 russet potatoes
2 1/4 cups flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp. butter
Leaves from 2 sprigs parsley, chopped
FOR THE CABBAGE:
1 small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small red cabbage, quartered, cored,
and thinly sliced
1/2 apple, peeled, cored, and julienned
2 1/2 cups red wine
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE CHESTNUTS:
6 tbsp. butter, melted
6 cups cooked peeled chestnuts
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp. honey
1. For the goose: Preheat oven to 425°. Trim off goose wing tips, put into a small pot, and set aside. Prick skin all over with the tip of a paring knife. Rub bird, inside and out, with marjoram, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Stud apples and onions with cloves, then stuff into cavity of bird. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Heat oil in a large heavy roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add goose and cook until browned all over, about 15 minutes. Set goose aside. Drain off fat from pan into a medium bowl and set aside. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add wine and 1 cup water and cook, scraping browned bits stuck to bottom of pan with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes. Transfer goose, breast side up, to pan and roast until skin begins to get crisp, 35–45 minutes. Siphon off fat in pan with a bulb baster (add it to bowl with fat), leaving any pan juices in pan. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue roasting goose until juices run clear when pricked and skin is brown and crisp, 35–50 minutes more, siphoning off fat from pan once or twice as it roasts. Meanwhile, add stock to pot with wing tips and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes. Strain stock, discarding solids, and set aside.
2. For the apples: Soak raisins in rum in a small bowl until plump, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°. Core apples, leaving bottoms intact, and put into a medium baking dish, hole side up. Drain raisins, then stuff into apple cavities and top each with a piece of butter. Add 1 cup water to dish, cover with foil, and bake until apples are soft but still intact, 45–50 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200° and keep apples warm in oven.
3. For the dumplings: Put potatoes into a large pot of salted water and boil over medium-high heat until soft, 25–30 minutes. Drain and set aside to let rest until just cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat. Peel potatoes, then press through a potato ricer onto a clean surface. Gather potatoes while still warm into a mound and make a well in the center. Add 2 cups of the flour, eggs, butter, and 1 tbsp. salt to well and gently knead dough until smooth, adding up to 4 tbsp. more flour if dough is too tacky. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Lightly flour your hands and roll each piece of dough into a ball. Working in 2 batches, add dough balls to pot of water, reduce heat to medium, and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until dumplings float and are cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a warm plate, cover with foil, and keep warm in oven with apples.
4. For the cabbage: Heat 3 tbsp. of the reserved goose fat (save remaining fat for another use) in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until soft, 4–5 minutes. Add cabbage and apples and cook for 3–4 minutes. Stir in wine, orange juice, cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is very soft, 35–45 minutes. Keep warm over lowest heat.
5. For the chestnuts: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chestnuts and cook until heated through, 2–3 minutes. Add cream and honey and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick and chestnuts are glazed, 4–5 minutes. Cover skillet and keep warm over lowest heat.
6. Discard kitchen twine and apples and onions from cavity of goose. Put goose on a large serving platter and allow to rest for 15–20 minutes. Meanwhile, drain fat from pan, then set pan on top of stove and heat over medium-high heat. Add reserved stock, scraping browned bits stuck to bottom of pan, and boil until reduced by one-quarter, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then strain gravy into a warm gravy boat.
7. To serve: Fill goose cavity with the warm chestnuts. Put cabbage next to goose on platter. Arrange apples and dumplings around goose. Moisten goose and cabbage with some of the gravy. Garnish dumplings with parsley. Serve gravy on the side.