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GILDED GOOSE WITH PEAR CONFIT

approx 11lb/5kg goose (drawn weight)
1 large onion
2 bay leaves
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon saffron
2 tablespoon pear brandy (Poire William eau-de-vie)
2-3 teaspoons caster sugar

For ease of carving remove wish bone. Pull out any excess fat from
the vent. Put onion and bay leaves into goose.

Cook on a rack in a deep pan at 180C/350F/gas 4 for 15 minutes per
500g/1lb. Provided the bird was at room temperature, this will
give a slightly pink meat. An extra 20 minutes will alleviate
this.

More important is to let the bird rest for 20 minutes prior to
carving. Basting is not necessary but it does make life easier if
you regularly remove the fat.

Don't forget to add onto the total cooking time any time the oven
door is left open.

At some point mix together the egg yolk, saffron brandy and sugar
and allow to sit for 30 minutes or so to develop colour.

30 minutes before the bird is due to be ready, remove it from the
oven, tip off any excess fat leaving any juices. Tip all the juice
from inside the bird into the pan. Strain the saffron mixture and
paint the liquid evenly over the goose.

Return to oven for last 30 minutes.


The Pear Confit

25g/1oz butter
50g/2oz onion, very finely chopped
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
1 bay leaf
120g/4oz lean smoked bacon, diced
2 large pears, firm but ripe
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2-4 tablespoons pear brandy (Poire William eau-de-vie)

Melt the butter in a wide bottomed saucepan and cook the onion and
garlic for a few minutes. Add the bayleaf and bacon and leave on
a low heat until the fat is clear and the bacon is beginning to
brown.

Quarter, core and peel the pears. Cut into even dice about the same
size as the bacon. Add to the pan, sprinkle with the cumin seeds
and brandy and lightly mix. Cook at the lowest heat, turning from
time to time, until there is little excess liquid and the pears
have shrunk and are translucent (30-40 minutes).

Best made in advance and re-heated on the day. It may be sharpened
with a little extra brandy or some lemon juice.

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