4.50kg trussed and oven-ready fresh goose, with giblets
a little sea salt
fresh flat-leaf parsley and bay leaves, to garnish
for the giblet stock:
giblets from the goose (excluding the fat and liver)
1 onion (sliced)
pared rind of 1 orange
small handful fresh parsley stalks
2 bay leaves
6 black peppercorns
for the stuffing:
2tblsp olive oil
1 onion (finely chopped)
2 celery sticks (finely chopped)
½ teaspoon of ground mixed spice
250g fresh sausage meat
150g white breadcrumbs
85g ready-to-eat apricots (finely chopped)
finely grated rind of 1 orange
4tblsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
for the gravy:
2tblsp plain flour
600ml (1 pint) giblet stock (see above)
1 orange (juice)
1tblsp redcurrant jelly
salt and ground black pepper
Put the giblets in a pan with 1.7 litres (3 pints) of cold water. Bring to the boil and skim off any scum. Add the onion slices, orange rind, parsley stalks, bay leaves and peppercorns. Simmer for 1½ to 2 hours, with the lid tilted, until reduced by two-thirds. Strain the stock into a measuring jug -- you'll need about 600 ml (1 pint). Cover and leave to cool. Chill.
Make the stuffing. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion, celery and mixed spice and fry gently, stirring for about 10 minutes until softened but not browned. Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool. Add the remaining stuffing ingredients, plus one teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Use your hands to mix well, squeezing the mixture so that the ingredients bind together evenly.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5). Wipe the inside of the body cavity of the goose with kitchen paper, then spoon in the stuffing mixture. You can do this easily with the legs still tied. Put the goose in a large roasting tin that will hold it comfortably. Prick the breast gently in several places with a fork and sprinkle with sea salt.
Cut two sheets of heavy-duty foil, about 100 x 50 cm (40 x 20 in) each. Put lengthways and overlapping on a work surface. Put the tin in the centre; bring the foil up around the tin and goose to enclose them. Scrunch the edges with the foil to make a loose tent over the goose. Roast on the second shelf from the bottom of the oven for 1½ hours.
After the goose has been roasting for 1½ hours, remove from the oven and open the foil. Using a baster or ladle, baste the goose, then remove as much fat as possible from the bottom of the tin and reserve. Cover the goose again and roast for 1 hour longer. Remove from the oven and open up the foil to expose the breast (keep the foil on the legs for extra protection). Baste, then remove and reserve the fat as before. Return to the oven with the breast exposed and roast for a further 30 minutes to brown the skin.
To test if the goose is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer -- the juices should run clear, not pink or red. Carefully lift the goose out of the foil and tin and hold it with the legs facing downwards to drain off as much excess fat as possible. Put the goose on a large warmed platter. Cover it loosely with fresh foil and leave to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes -- this is important as during this time the meat fibres relax and the juices settle, making carving the meat easier.
Pour off all but one tablespoon of fat from the tin (use some for roasting the potatoes). Put the tin on top of the stove over a low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up the sediment until the flour is well browned. Pour in a little stock and stir to mix in. Increase the heat and continue adding the stock in this way. When it has come to the boil, simmer, stirring, for about five minutes. Add the orange juice, port and redcurrant jelly and simmer, stirring, until the jelly melts and the gravy thickens.
Garnish the goose with herbs, roast apples and shallots (see tips) to show it off before transferring to a carving board. Cut the breasts away from the rib cage (it is easier if you remove the wishbone) and then carve them diagonally into slices. Cut off the legs by the knuckle and slicing down towards the board. Cut off the wings, fillets and the oyster meat where the legs meet the body on the underside. Use a long-handle spoon to remove the stuffing.