Roast Goose with Vodka Cherries & Pecan and Thyme Stuffing?

Garth McColgan serves up this traditional Christmas dinner with a twist!


  • vodka cherries:
  • 100 ml vodka
  • 2 tblsp orange juice
  • 0.50 tsp mixed spice
  • 3 strips orange zest
  • 50 ml blackcurrant juice
  • 250 g cherries (stoned)
  • roast goose:
  • 1 fresh whole goose (4kg – 4.8kg approx)
  • 1 tblsp sea salt
  • 2 onions (halved)
  • 2 bulbs of garlic (cut across the width)
  • pecan and thyme stuffing:
  • 6 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 6 shallots (thinly sliced)
  • 200 g smoked streaky bacon (cut into bits)
  • 3 tblsp fresh thyme (roughly chopped)
  • 200 g pecan nuts (crushed)
  • 500 g breadcrumbs
  • 600 g sausage meat
  • 0.50 tsp crushed black pepper


  1. Vodka cherries: Put the first five ingredients into a pot and bring to the boil. Remove the pot from the heat and add the cherries, then leave to cool. Reheat before serving.
  2. Roast Goose: Pierce the skin of the bird all over with a knife and rub 1 tablespoon of sea salt into the skin. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the halved onions and bulbs of garlic, then stud the skin evenly with the cloves.
  3. Pre heat your oven to 180°C. Put the goose onto a baking tray and roast for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, and with a tablespoon baste the goose with the juices from the baking tray. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 150°C and continue cooking for a further 20 minutes. Take the bird out of the oven and raise the temperature to 220°C. Baste the goose again with the juices from the tray, and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  4. When the cooking time is up, remove the bird from the oven and cover with tin foil. Allow the bird to rest for 25 minutes before carving.
  5. Tip: To test when the Goose is cooked pierce the thickest part of the leg with a skewer, when ready the juices should run clear.
  6. Pecan and thyme stuffing: Once the goose goes into the oven you can start putting the stuffing together. Cook the bacon bits in a pan over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and shallot and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Put the bacon mixture and all the other ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Roll the stuffing into 20 evenly sized balls and put onto a baking tray.
  8. When you reduce the goose cooking temperature down to 150°C put the stuffing balls on to a roasting tray and pour over half the baking juices from the goose.
  9. Put stuffing balls into the oven. When you increase the temperature of the oven to 220°C turn the stuffing balls in the baking tray to ensure even cooking.
  10. To serve: Carve the goose and serve with two or three stuffing balls and some vodka cherries on the side.


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