Cousins -- After a visit to our local craft butcher in Ireland to pick up our holiday goose, I have an unusual problem.
I said to our butcher, "I need the giblets and hearts and livers, and keep the neck...!" -- this being something you have to specify in this neighborhood. Once upon a time in Ireland, no one would have let a chicken, turkey or goose escape them without the innards: but sometime after WWII (known locally as The Emergency), respect for the Insides began to shift, and people began to be embarrassed about wanting, or eating, the parts of a bird that only poor people would need -- or so it was thought. Later on, as the Celtic Tiger and the wealthy times came upon the Island of Saints and Scholars, no one here in their right mind would be seen with a giblet... something that made me sad over the course of many expat Thanksgivings. The butcher could only shrug and say, "The suppliers don't send them along to us...."
Geese, though, are another story, it would seem. Being greener by definition -- all free range, raised on grass until Michaelmas (in late September), then finished on grain until Martinmas (in November), they come to the butcher with all their bits (so to speak). When I picked up our goose from the local craft butcher, he went out of his way to show me the bag containing the giblets and other useful bits. In an access of hope (fueled by a pre-pickup drink or two down at the local pub) I said, "You wouldn't have any more of those, would you?" For other neighbors had been picking up their birds as well.
Our young butcher looked at me as if I'd recently arrived from Mars. "Sure I'll have a look," he said. And shortly thereafter he arrived with the results -- the cleanings of several other people's geese -- and handed the package off to me as if faintly glad to be rid of it.
So now I have a whole pound of fresh goose liver. (I say nothing of all the giblets and hearts, which are simmering happily as we speak.) It's not foie gras: just good old goose liver. Who has a really good recipe for goose liver pate? Or something similar? (Nothing has been done for these except that I immersed them for about half an hour in acidulated water to sweeten them: now they're drained and in the fridge.)
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