Cook your goose

As promised, I unearthed the goose from the freezer…and killed the two living ones to boot.
My downstairs neighbors finally complained about the incessant honking of the geese, and like a true country bumpkin, I slaughtered them the minute after the complaint was lodged. Good relations with neighbors are more important than two slightly more fat geese come X-mas time. But I wonder if I could ask them to make their dogs shut the hell up with their infernal barking? I don’t think they’d return the favor, somehow.

Here’s what I did to the geese. After killing and some plucking, I ended up just skinning them. Getting all the feathers out requires a rubber fingered plucking machine. Those rule. But I don’t have one. So, skinning. I know–the fat? It went with the skin (into a shallow grave). There was some internal fat, though. Plus, I have pig fat.

After a day of resting in a salt brine, I deboned the geese. The meat was red and looked like beef, a bit. With the carcasses–carcassi?–made tons of stock, which eventually became gumbo and a tomato ragu (but that’s another story). Then I put the chunks in the freezer to get very cold. Meanwhile, I cubed up some pig back fat (oh, the decadence).
Then all of that went into the meat grinder. It’s called a waring “professional” meat grinder, but it sucks. Someone said a Kitchen Aid grinder works well, but I wonder. I bought casings at Taylor Sausage in Old Oakland–nice guys, lots of casings for $12.
Then I mixed everything up–the meat, the fat, herbs, wine. And fed the meat into the stuffing attachment of my wanky grinder. I think the meat and fat did something Michael Ruhlman calls “breaking”, which he says in his book Charcuterie, makes the sausage taste like paper maiche. Oh lord! They did look kind of smeary and weird. After a night in the fridge, I pulled them out for Sunday pancakes. As the sausages fried, a full-on geyser of liquid fat came streaming out of the crackling skillet-bound sausage.

As for the taste–yes, a little dry, but with maple syrup and cornmeal hotcakes, they were nothing to feed to the dogs.

6 responses to “Cook your goose

  1. did you prick the sausages? i think chris would have a heart attack if he read this post. you should come back for a refresher. having said that, you are the only person i know who’s ever made sausages out of meat she raised (in a city, no less!). that’s pretty awesome. (too bad we couldn’t save the casings from your own piggies).

  2. samin: crappy tools, crappy tools! i didn’t freeze the meat and fat, i just chilled it (and the grinder) before grinding. what did i do wrong? oh, and yeah, i forgot to prick them. i don’t have the little pricker. so much to know…

  3. Maybe you should check out this link:

    It’s got a very nifty plan for a $6 chicken plucker. I’m guessing it would work at least decently on a goose. And yeah, maybe the price has gone up a bit since the piece was posted, but not by all that much. It would be a bargain to save that goose fat. I’m gearing up to build one of these soon to deal with my layer hens before the end of the year.

  4. hey kate!
    that looks like a good set up for a chicken or turkey, but the geese and ducks have tiny tiny pin feathers which would not come out with this contraption. i think the best thing to do would be to make a party out of it, invite friends and hang out and pluck and talk. since my sitch was on the fly, i had to just do what was fastest (i had to be at work by 10am)

  5. I’ve always used the kitchen aid meat grinding attachment and have never had a problem grinding meat, but the colder, almost frozen the meat is the better, really keeps the fat from turning super mushy and actually cuts it. and for stuffing it, I found an old school cast iron press sausage stuffer at a garage sale for $40 that works better than any other one I’ve tried.

  6. MaryTenderLOS

    Children will have hours of fun with the pop-up structures. 1. Zhu Zhu Hamsters dominate the bestselling lists this year. Even though kids are taught by their parents that it’s not right to hit, television says it’s OK to bite, hit, or kick if you’re the good guy.

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