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Sophie Grigson - Roast goose with two stuffings

Serves 8-12

Preparation time 1-2 hours

Cooking time over 2 hours

4-5.5kg/9-12lb goose
For the outside-in stuffing
110g/4oz dried cranberries or dried apricots
60ml/2fl oz ruby port
1 small onion, chopped
2 rashers green (unsmoked) back bacon, cut into strips
45g/1½oz butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
450g/1lb sausagemeat
85g/3oz fresh white or brown breadcrumbs, from a good quality loaf
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
150g/5oz peeled, cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
freshly ground black pepper
For the shallot, sage, hazelnut and orange stuffing
350g/12oz shallots, thinly sliced
60g/2oz butter
15g/½oz caster sugar
1 orange, finely grated zest and juice only
3 heaped tbsp fresh sage, chopped
85g/3oz roasted, skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped
150g/5oz fresh white breadcrumbs, from a good quality loaf
1 egg, beaten
freshly ground black pepper

1. To make the outside-in stuffing, soak the cranberries in the port for an hour. Fry the onion and bacon gently in the butter until the onion is tender and the bacon cooked.
2. Add the garlic and fry for another minute or so. Cool slightly then mix with the remaining ingredients, including the cranberries and port, adding enough of the egg to bind.
3. Fry a small piece of stuffing to test seasoning and adjust accordingly.
4. To make the hazelnut and orange stuffing, fry the shallots gently in the butter until golden, then add the sugar and the orange juice.
5. Simmer until the liquid has virtually all evaporated leaving a delicious jammy mass of shallots.
6. Pour boiling water over the sage, leave for one minute, then drain and squeeze dry. Add to the shallots, along with all the other ingredients.
7. Fry a small piece of stuffing to test seasoning and adjust accordingly
8. To prepare the goose, trim the excess fat from inside the goose. Pack the 'outside-in' stuffing into the neck end of the goose, pressing it firmly and then tucking the flap of skin neatly down around it.
9. Secure firmly underneath with wooden cocktail sticks or a metal skewer.
10. Three-quarters fill the stomach cavity with the hazelnut and orange stuffing.
11. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas5.
12. Prick the skin of the goose all over with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Lay some of the fat removed from the cavity over the thighs to keep them moist.
13. Cover with foil and place on a rack in the oven with a tray underneath so that you can empty out the fat regularly.
14. Roast a 4kg/9lb goose for three hours, a 4.5-5kg/10-11lb goose for three-and-a-half hours and a 5.5kg/12lb goose for four hours.
15. Remove the foil for 30-40 minutes before the end of the cooking time so that the skin can brown and crisp.
16. To test it is cooked, pierce the fattest part of the thigh with a skewer. If the juices run clear then the bird is done.
17. Rest for 20-30 minutes, oven turned off with the door ajar, before carving.