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Christmas goose

A perfect festive feast, courtesy of The Shelbourne's Garry Hughes

Serving: Serves 4


  • 4.5–5kg goose
  • 1–2 tablespoons coarse rock salt
  • 2–3 mandarin oranges, halved with skin on
  • 2 generous sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 bulbs of garlic cloves split in half

For the glaze

  • 1 litre orange juice
  • ½ litre lemon juice
  • 250g honey
  • 2 dessert spoons of five spice

For the brine solution

  • 3 litre water
  • 1 litre bourbon whiskey
  • 300g salt
  • 300g sugar
  • 300g maple syrup

For the vegetables

  • 2–4 carrots, peeled and cut into lengths
  • 1–2 onions, peeled and halved.
  • 1–2 celery sticks, trimmed and cut into lengths
  • 6–8 rooster potatoes, peeled and halved lengthways

For the gravy

  • 700ml red wine
  • 500ml chicken stock


  1. Remove the wings and set aside. Remove the wishbone and gizzards (or ask your butcher to do this) and wash out the cavity with some salt and water.
  2. Bring the brine solution to the boil in a pot large enough to fit the goose. Let the mixture go cold and then lower the goose into the pot to fully immerse it. Remove after two hours and wash off the solution.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Season the goose with coarse rock salt, and stuff the core with mandarin oranges, rosemary and lots of garlic.
  4. Cover the base of a large baking tray with the prepared carrot, onion, celery, halved rooster potatoes and goose wings, and then sit the seasoned goose on top to allow the veg to cook in the bird’s juices. Roast at 220ºC for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, reduce down the citrus juice, honey and five spice in a saucepan into a sticky glaze.
  6. After 10 minutes, take the goose out of the oven, remove the excess grease from the baking tray, brush the goose generously with the glaze and return to the oven. Reduce temperature to 180ºC and roast for 40 minutes, regularly basting the goose with the glaze.
  7. Remove the goose from the oven, cover with tin foil and rest for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, increase the oven [to 220ºC] and finish cooking the vegetables until the potatoes are crispy, [about 20 /30 minutes] Set aside the potatoes somewhere warm.
  8. To make the gravy, deglaze the tray with all the vegetables, pour in a bottle of red wine and add in 500ml chicken stock and reduce down for a few minutes over a high heat.
  9. Serve the goose with creamy mash potatoes, Brussels sprouts and a glass of white wine.

Recipe from Garry Hughes, Executive Head Chef of The Shelbourne, Dublin


"The secret to the perfect goose is to brine the bird in order to soften the meat. Ask your butcher to remove the wishbone and gizzard to assist with carving."