- 3-4kg (6-8lb) goose
- FOR THE STUFFING:
- 120g (4oz) butter, melted
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 6 rashers of bacon, chopped
- 250g (8oz) breadcrumbs
- 100g (3½oz) hazelnuts, chopped
- 100g (3½oz) pecans, chopped
- Grated rind and juice of ½ orange
- Leaves of 12-14 sprigs of thyme
- FOR THE PEARS:
- 4 ripe pears, peeled and quartered
- 2tbsp brown sugar
- ½tsp ground ginger
- Zest of 1 lime
- 30g (1oz) butter
- The day before you cook the goose, place it in a clean sink and pour a kettle of boiling water over it. Pat completely dry with kitchen paper and let it sit in a cool draught for several hours until the skin is perfectly dry all over. Place uncovered in the fridge overnight.
- To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat and sauté the onions and bacon for about 7 minutes until tender. Transfer to a bowl, mix in the remaining ingredients and season well. Roll into walnut-sized balls, place in a roasting tin and set aside.
- Heat the oven to 200ºC (gas mark 6). Prick the skin of the goose all over with a skewer (without puncturing the flesh) and rub the breast with sea salt. Place on its side in a roasting rack set over a roasting tin and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the goose and rack from the tin and pour the fat off into a bowl. Turn the goose on to its other side, turn the oven down to 180ºC (gas mark 4) and continue to roast for the remainder of the cooking time.
- About 30 minutes before the end of cooking, turn the goose breast-side up. Cover with tin foil if it's colouring too much. Check if the goose is cooked by inserting a knife where leg joins body - the juice should run clear and colourless, not pink. Once cooked, let it rest for 30 minutes while you finish any vegetables, roast the stuffing balls and heat the pears.
- To make the pears, place them in a small roasting tin. Put 150ml (5fl oz) of water in a small saucepan with the sugar, ginger and lime zest, bring to the boil and pour over the pears. Dot each of the pear quarters with a little butter and roast in the oven, turning and basting occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until tender and nicely golden. If the syrup starts to dry up during cooking, add a little hot water to the dish. Serve the goose on a large platter surrounded by the stuffing balls and pears. Drizzle the pears with a syrup.
When you need to turn the oven down to the lower temperature, leave the oven door open for a minute or two to speed up the process.