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tekobo

Goose Adventure

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People rarely recommend Milan as a place to go on holiday.  Fashionistas, yes.  Industrialists, yes.  But plain old hanging around holiday makers, no.  If you get the chance you should go.  We love Italy and love eating in friendly restaurants where people care. We ate in some stand out neighbourhood places when we visited Milan a year ago.  One of the highlights of our trip was eating slices of cured and smoked goose as part of a plate of charcuterie. Awesome.  We begged until the restaurant relented and let us pay for and bring home a pack of their cured goose breast.  We are normally generous people but when we got home we kept that goose to ourselves, eating thin slices whenever we got the chance until it was all gone.

A long preamble but I hope it helps you understand why I am so excited about trying to smoke goose breast in my KK.  I buy poultry from a restaurant supplier and their price list says that goose is "seasonal".  I checked what that meant a couple of weeks ago and they said they only have them at Christmas but that they did have a few left over in the freezer.  That triggered my bulk buying gene and I immediately ordered three.  

They arrived last week.  I have never bought a whole goose before and had no idea how much they weighed.  At 6kg each they were a daunting sight!  Two went straight into the freezer and I left the third to defrost overnight.  To work, breaking down the carcass.

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I found a recipe for curing and smoking the goose online here https://honest-food.net/smoked-goose-breast-recipe/.  I searched no further because it was clear that the author had had the same experience of smoked goose breast as us because he said "It was roll-your-eyes-back-in-your-head good".   And better still, he provided a link to a recipe to make these badass goose legs into hams!

The legs have been rubbed with cure and are sitting in a vac bag.  They will be lovingly rubbed every day for ten days before the next stage of the process.  The breasts are sitting in a marinade of peaty whisky.  They'll go into their cure today for a few days before being smoked.  The carcass was slow roasted in the oven to produce these jars of goose fat.  Husband will be making a stock from the roasted carcass.  I think this is a bird that is going to keep on giving!

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Edited by tekobo
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Just finished reading the article and it sure sounds like you are on a fun adventure. :smt060 Please keep those pixs coming. :) Goose fat galore, chips, chips, chips. Your friends will all be getting goose fat in their stocking. :smt046

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Sounds like a marathon in preparation but undoubted well worth the effort. In my area as in New England as a whole Canadian geese are in abundance throughout the empty corn fields the many lakes and ponds. They were migratory birds but stay all year long nowand have become pests because of there numbers at airports and golf courses. I have often thought how they taste but if they have that much grease it would present a hazard to cook. Seems to me your on the legendary road to this cook, let me ask, is it similar to smoked salmon later for a cold smoke or is it secret. And what are you going to do with the goose fat

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1 hour ago, Tyrus said:

In my area as in New England as a whole Canadian geese are in abundance throughout the empty corn fields the many lakes and ponds.

Much as I like to get to know my food, I don't think I would want to grapple with a live goose. :shock:  The guy who wrote the recipe that I am using also wrote a book called Duck, Duck, Goose which is apparently the last word in cooking waterfowl.  I might get it if his online recipes turn out well.  

1 hour ago, Tyrus said:

I have often thought how they taste but if they have that much grease it would present a hazard to cook.

No hazard as far as I could tell.  I had the oven at 165C to render the fat off the carcass and it just gently and steadily oozed off into the pan beneath with no danger of igniting in my electric oven.  I saw that @Syzygies had done/seen one done in a salt dough jacket.  That might be fun to try.

 

1 hour ago, Tyrus said:

is it similar to smoked salmon later for a cold smoke or is it secret. And what are you going to do with the goose fat

 I haven't done a cold smoke yet so this is all new to me.  He recommends starting cold and slowly heating up.  I am not sure how that is going to work with this cold smoker  http://amzn.eu/5Q7teqa  that I got on amazon but will read up in the book that came with it.  Advice also welcome!

No advice needed for the goose fat though.  Goose fat roast potatoes all the way.  :-o

 

 

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2 hours ago, MacKenzie said:

Your friends will all be getting goose fat in their stocking. :smt046

You never know, goose fat might go well with your Guinness and Chilli chips.  

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Any thoughts to doing a confit of the legs in that yummy fat, ala duck?

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34 minutes ago, tony b said:

Any thoughts to doing a confit of the legs in that yummy fat, ala duck?

I hadn't thought of that Tony.  Got fixated on the thought of goose hams! I have two more birds to try and six more bottles of fat to acquire so there should be more than enough for a good confit.  The goose legs are big - 1.5kg the pair - so the confit is likely to take a while...

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3 hours ago, tekobo said:

Much as I like to get to know my food, I don't think I would want to grapple with a live goose. :shock:  The guy who wrote the recipe that I am using also wrote a book called Duck, Duck, Goose which is apparently the last word in cooking waterfowl.  I might get it if his online recipes turn out well.  

No hazard as far as I could tell.  I had the oven at 165C to render the fat off the carcass and it just gently and steadily oozed off into the pan beneath with no danger of igniting in my electric oven.  I saw that @Syzygies had done/seen one done in a salt dough jacket.  That might be fun to try.

 

 I haven't done a cold smoke yet so this is all new to me.  He recommends starting cold and slowly heating up.  I am not sure how that is going to work with this cold smoker  http://amzn.eu/5Q7teqa  that I got on amazon but will read up in the book that came with it.  Advice also welcome!

No advice needed for the goose fat though.  Goose fat roast potatoes all the way.  :-o

 

 

A legendary undertaking, a challenge to say the least, and I'm confident in your success.

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One more question, feel like Columbo...How much does a goose cost? Never bought one before, nor have I had duck although I have orange sauce in the house. Do you remember when Ebineezer Scrooge stuck his head out the window and said," Hey boy, run down to market and buy the biggest bird you can find, and he replies you mean the giant goose still hanging there....and he's off. That goose triggered that memory, about the extent of my familiarity with this fowl. Keep up the good work

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2 hours ago, Tyrus said:

One more question, feel like Columbo...How much does a goose cost?

A good question and it reminded me that I wanted to check whether it would have been more cost effective to have bought goose breasts than these ridiculously heavy birds.  In pure financial terms, it would have been cheaper to buy two goose breasts weighing in at about 1.2kg for £15/kilo.  Instead I spent £60 buying the whole bird at £10/kilo.  However, if it all works out right, I won't regret it.  I would never have discovered goose leg hams, had all this goose fat to play with nor the great stock I know my husband will make from the carcass.  All good.  

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4 hours ago, DennisLinkletter said:

my favorite is from foie gras

I have a tub of foie gras fat in the freezer, but didn't think about pop corn?

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11 hours ago, DennisLinkletter said:

My wife uses all different kinds of fat to make popcorn.. my favorite is from foie gras and the oil from coffee smoked bacon.. ;-)

Great.  Yet more ways to use my surfeit of goose fat.  :)

Also reminds me that each goose came with its liver and giblets.  I know that it won't be up to foie gras standards but I should be able to get a good goose liver pate going. Another yum bonus.  

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Not to totally digress from your conversation but recently a highly technical experiment was performed to ascertain the winner of the coming contest of Philly vs Pats.  Two cans filled with food were placed three feet apart in a vacant room with small flags denoting the representative team.  A woodchuck was released into the room and it ate from the container having the Patriots flag. This woodchuck has picked the correct winner the last four years.

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So, the goose breasts have been cured for the requisite number of days and we are now into smoking.  The recipe says to start the smoke cold and then gradually heat up to get the breast up to 140F-150F.  My plan is to cold smoke for two to three hours and then introduce a hot coal into the KK and let the heat build from there, probably maxing the KK ambient temp at your 220F, my 105C. Does that sound about right?

This was the easy bit, setting the cold smoker going. I used oak dust.  

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Less easy was figuring out how to get enough depth to hang the breasts.  Don't ask why, because I don't know why, but I settled on using the upper grate from the 23" in the 21".  More importantly, I ended up hanging the breasts horizontally as you can see here, sitting on the 23" waiting to go into the 21".  How do you hang your meats when you smoke in the KK? Do you just put them direct on the grates and don't fuss with hanging them?

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I stuffed one breast into netting as recommended by the recipe and left one au naturel.  Want to see what the difference is.  All in place now for the next few hours.

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Hoping to use the MEATER to track the meat temperature.  Annoyingly, it is stubbornly refusing to connect but I am hoping it will start working before the critical point in a few hours' time.  Also hoping it isn't this I.D.10T operating the MEATER that is the problem but I am close to sending it back if I can't get this replacement to work more consistently.  

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All advice gratefully received!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tekobo, I am so sorry you are having trouble with the Meater. I do not have one and sorry to say that I can't offer any help. When I smoke my bacon I just lay it on the grates and granted there are grill marks that don't get any smoke. Do you have another thermometer probe unit that you can use?

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I do think that you could figure out a way to hang the breasts for the next time you do this cook. Using some SS rods to make a hanging rack that will fit inside the KK would be in my first plan.

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