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Roasted Goose with Apricot Stuffing

christmas goose recipe

Some of you might have followed my facebook “documentary” of my roasted goose cooking on Thanksgiving. As I already stated there, since we are only four people and turkey is not our favorite bird, we had decided to have a goose instead of a turkey for the holiday. It was also a “test run” for Christmas since I was considering having a goose for Christmas Eve, instead of two ducks.
Goose is a traditional Christmas meal in Germany, they are also a very common meal during November, because of St. Martins Day. Many traditional German restaurants – mostly on the countryside – offer “goose” or “Gänsebraten” during November. Busses with seniors are brought there for a feast meal – it’s a big business!

When I was little, my stepfather would buy about 20 little chick goose in spring. We would rise them and have them run on our land until Fall and then slaughter and sell them, to have enough money to buy Christmas gifts for the four children of us. One of these poor things would end up on our table and my grandmother made this amazing stuffing with prunes and I wish I had the recipe!

This was my first roasted goose to cook myself and this is my takeaway:

  • It tasted delicious!
  • The oven was a mess after cooking and the cleaning took a while.
  • I now have a mason jar with goose lard, which I can use on the Red Cabbage recipes.
  • During the cooking process, lots of fat came out of that bird and created quite a bit of smoke in the oven.
  • My family still wants duck for Christmas.

So what I’ve learned is that it is very important to have always enough water in the tray under the goose, otherwise, there will be a lot of smoke and smell and the veggies will turn into charcoal, making them useless for a gravy. Lucky for me I still had some instant gravy to save me!

I’d like to point out that the stuffing with pears and apricots was one of the best stuffings I’ve ever had!

The recipe also stated that it should take 4 1/2 hours for an 8 to 9 lbs goose. My goose weighted a little more than 9 pounds and after a little more than 4 hours I decided that if I continue baking it, the goose will be dry and maybe even burned.
However, I should have taken it out even earlier, maybe after a little less than 4 hours, so it would have been even juicier. I’d advise you to not strictly follow the cooking time of the recipe, also take a look and ask your gut ;-) or use a thermometer and make your own decision.

Our side dishes were red cabbage and dumplings. The stuffing matched perfectly with the sides and meat. Since a roasted goose is a very fatty bird, we were full quite quickly and still had enough leftover for a second round the next day.

If your holiday cooking is already very busy, I’d like to give you this advice:

  • Cook the Red Cabbage some days ahead, it is so easy to reheat and often even tastes better then!
  • Cutting food into cubes can take some time, that’s why I used a vegetable slicer like this: https://goo.gl/dBErdE
  • Have some instant gravy on hand … just in case!
christmas goose recipe

Roasted Goose with Apricot Stuffing

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Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch (or Dinner), Meat Dish
Cuisine German
Servings 4 people


  • 1 8-9 lbs goose thaw for at least 1 day if frozen
  • some marjoram. dry
  • some salt and pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 400 g (about 2) pears
  • 200 g dried apricots
  • 200 ml cream
  • 4 Tbsp pear Schnaps (I decided to leave this out)
  • 200 g white bread, gut into cubes
  • 1 medium egg
  • some cinnamon
  • 1 tuber celery (if you can get it) This is what it looks like!
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 leek
  • 10 g flour
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil


Preparing the goose

  • Wash the thawed goose inside and outside with cold water, then pad dry with paper towels. Put the liver aside, dischard the neck, heart and kidneys.
  • Rub the goose inside with salt, pepper and marjoram.

Preparing the stuffing

  • Cut the pears, apricots and onions into small cubes.
  • This tool turned out to be very helpful with the pears and onions but didn't work on the apricots.
  • Heat the cream (with pear schnaps if you want to use it) for 30 seconds in the microwave, then add it to the bread cubes and let them soak.
  • In a pan heat some oil and fry the pear, apricot, onion cubes.
  • Cut the goose liver into cubes and add to the pan and fry a little longer.
  • Set the pan aside and let cool a little.
  • Remove excess cream from the bread cubes and add the egg, some salt, pepper and cinnamon.
  • Add the content of the pan to the bread and mix it all well.
  • Stuff the goose with this mix and close the opening of the goose with toothpicks or cooking yarn.

Cooking the goose

  • Heat the oven to 390F.
  • Put on gridiron into the upper half of the oven and another gridiron into the lower third of the oven. Add a large roasting pan to the lower gridiron.
  • Add 125 ml of hot water to the roasting pan.
  • Put the goose chest down on the upper gridiron.
  • Cook for about 90 minutes, repeatedly poking into the skin under the tights and wings to let fat run out.
  • Collect the goose's fat from the roasting pan, save it for lard to use for red cabbage.
  • Add water to the roasting pan, it should always have about 1 cm (3/4 inch) of water. pour some of the roastin pan over the goose every now and then.
  • Cut the cellery, carrots and leek into smaller pieces.
  • After the 90 minutes, turn the goose and add the veggetables to the roast pan.
  • Cook for another 3 1/2 hours (check with thermometer if the goose is ready to eat) and continue to make sure that there is always enough water in the roasting pan!
  • About 10 minutes before the goose is finished, mix 50 ml water with 1/2 tsp salt and spread it on the goose, using a brush. Also add a little more temperatur to the oven - this step gives the goos a nice, crispy skin!
  • When you remove the goose, put it aside and cover it for about 5 to 10 minutes, meanwhile make the gravy.

Making the gravy

  • Use some hot water to loosen the vegetables from the roasting pan.
  • Strain the content of the roasting pan and add enough water to have about 600 ml of fluid.
  • Add the fluid to a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  • Mix the flour with 50 ml cold water and slowly add it to the sauce pan, stirring constantly.
  • With lower temperatur let cook for 5 minutes, then add salt, pepper and majoram to taste.


Serve the goose with dumplings and red cabbage, enjoy the crispy goose and deliciouss stuffing!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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