SAINT MARTIN'S GOOSE - CZECH RECIPE
Saint Martin's goose - Czech recipe
Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 4 hours Ingredients: * 1 medium-size goose (about 4 kg) * 3 apples and 1 pear or 4 apples * several rosemary sprigs * water for basting * caraway * salt
Wash the goose from outside as well as inside and sprinkle with salt and caraway (also inside of the goose), let on a cool place overnight. Take it out three hours before roasting and let sit to come to room temperature.Preheat the oven at 130 °C. Place the salted goose in a casserole, breast-side down and baste with water (up to one quarter of the casserole), cover with a lid and put in the oven.Roast three hours, during that time turn the goose several times to have it roasted from both sides, always cover with the lid to avoid the meat getting too dry. From time to time prick the skin to allow the fat to drain. Wait until the fat renders and then take it away or use for basting.After three hours of roasting, garish the goose with slices of apples and rosemary and continue roasting for another 40 minutes. Increase the heat at 170°C for the last 20 minutes and uncover the lid to make for fine crispy skin. Remove from oven and let rest before serving.Extra tip:Thanks to slow roasting the meat does not get dry and stays finely juicy. If you have enough time, decrease the heat at 100°C and roast for 7 hours.
Saint Martin's tradition
Probably everyone is familiar with the old Bohemian proverb about St. Martin arriving on white horse; a day when field works finish and wintertime begins. But not so many already know how lively and cheerful that feast used to be and that it gave rise to another saying: “On St. Martin Day smoke is coming out of the chimney”. Yet another saying warns that those who do not taste St. Martin goose that day will starve for the whole next year.
Indeed, St. Martin Day menu was dominated by goose – besides roasted goose there was also kaldoun (special soup with goose giblets) and famous goose liver. Traditionally, roast goose used to be made with caraway and cabbage (a recipe which has remained until present). According to another old Bohemian recipe goose can also be stuffed with apples, as you might see below.
Besides, St. Martin Day is also winemakers’ feast, marking the end of wine harvest. Moreover, it is the time when young wine has become mature and is ready to be tasted; with first bottle opened traditionally on 11 November at 11 a.m. Winemakers from Bohemia and Moravia have been observing this tradition, making even a new one in joining St. Martin feast with St. Martin wine tasting. After all, this is most convenient, with young wine being a perfect match to roast duck, its higher acidity facilitating digestion.
Marian and Martina from Bohemian Wings.