Roast goose is inherently festive, but don’t be intimidated if you’ve never tried it. This recipe flavors the rich, dark meat with four kinds of beer, a bit of brown sugar, pepper, and a bouquet garni (bay leaves and woody herbs tied up in a bit of cheesecloth or muslin). You end up with juicy meat, crisp mahogany skin, and a lovely pan gravy, plus plenty of rendered fat for roasting potatoes to go alongside. Paired with fragrant braised red cabbage that’s flavored with warm spices, golden raisins, port, and orange zest (and a little more beer), this is a perfect holiday dish—and you can make most of it several days in advance, so it’s actually a nice low-stress option for any celebratory late fall or winter feast.
Note: If you prefer, you can prepare this recipe using two ducks instead of a goose; just distribute the ingredients evenly among both smaller birds, or reduce them by half if you only want to cook one duck.
Make ahead: You can prepare both the bird and the cabbage up to three days in advance, and should rest the roasted goose at least overnight before finishing it to crisp the skin. The cabbage is better when it’s had time to mature, too. And if you want to serve this with roast potatoes (why wouldn’t you?) you will get far crispier ones by par-boiling them the day before and refrigerating them before roasting them with the goose (don’t forget to use the fat from the chilled pan juices to coat the potatoes before roasting)!
Suggested Beers: For the milk stout, try looking for Big Smoke Milk Stout; Left Hand Milk Stout; Batch Brewing Elsie the Milk Stout; Cassels & Sons Milk Stout; Bristol Beer Factory Milk Stout; or Castle Milk Stout. For the smoked beer, Alaskan Smoked Porter is a good bet in the U.S., but also look for To Øl Smoke on the Porter; Okell’s Aile; Aecht Schlenkerla Marzen; and Ölvishot Brugghús Lava. And for the dark Belgian ale, try Chimay Blue; Unibroue Maudite; La Trappe Dubbel; Gordon’s Scotch Ale; or Brouwerij Kees Wee Heavy. These beers all work well with the cabbage: Duchesse de Bourgogne; Rodenbach; Liefmans Oud Bruin; Petrus Oud Bruin; La Sirene Farmhouse Red; Rodenbach Grand Cru; Lost Abbey Red Poppy; Thornbridge Love Among the Ruins; and New Belgium La Folie.
To make the cabbage:
Recipes excerpted with permission from The Beer Kitchen by Melissa Cole, published by Hardie Grant Books © October 2018. Photography by Patricia Niven.