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The best time of the year is just around the corner. And that means now is the best time to get out the Christmas decorations, finalize your wish list and dream up the perfect celebration. From Christmas cookies to homemade eggnog to crunchy potato pancakes, the holiday season offers a wide range of delicious dishes. But in recent decades, the popular Christmas goose has disappeared from most family menus. Is that really the case and what is behind this tradition? Find out below. And of course we also have a Christmas goose recipe ready for you. Just keep reading…

Christmas goose - where does the tradition come from?

In Europe, a roast goose has been a part of the Christmas table since ancient times. And although the turkey is a bit bigger, there's nothing quite as delicious as a roast goose.

The tradition of serving a roast goose on the Christmas table goes way back. The people of ancient Greece and Rome may have celebrated different festivals, but they did so with the same fowl as we do today.

From the Middle Ages to the Victorian era, the goose is the ubiquitous Christmas fowl across Europe.

The goose was the common farm fowl

Geese were plentiful and cheaper than the exotic turkey, so the goose was the best choice for the Christmas table in the past. Today you can join the tradition and enjoy this delicious bird for Christmas.

The Christmas goose tradition continues

One hundred years ago, a golden brown goose on December 25th was a well-known delicacy

The Christmas goose has its roots in both English superstition and the Christian religion. Legend has it that Queen Elizabeth I enjoyed a goose when the British defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. And she ordered all of England to eat her Christmas dinner to imitate.

A second legend is associated with fasting. Medieval Christians fasted between St. Martin's Day (November 11) and Christmas. According to legend, St. Martin hid among geese when trying not to become a bishop after all. But the honking of the geese gave him away.

A roast goose, however, is a typical "feast" - tasty and rich in fat - exactly what you want to eat after 40 days of fasting.

The Christmas goose has its roots essentially in the medieval European festival of St. Martin

When it comes to preparing a goose yourself, don't be afraid of the fat that geese have in abundance. Some recipes recommend removing the excess fat along with the offal, but the key is to pierce the skin several times and skim off the goose fat that builds up during the roasting time.

The goose comes on the Christmas table with stewed fruits such as apples and pears

Be sure to read our preparation tips before you roast a Christmas goose yourself.

  • Let the goose rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting.
  • S alt the bird generously inside and out and fill the cavity e.g. B. with garlic, thyme or sage.
  • Poke small holes all over the skin of the goose, being careful not to pierce the flesh.
  • Cook deep and slowly. We recommend cooking at 160 degrees Celsius.

This is how the Christmas goose is served

Christmas goose recipe

For the goose:

  • 4 kg goose, cleaned
  • a little s alt, to taste
  • a little pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1-2 onions, cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon s alt (mixed with 1 cup water)

Get all the ingredients

And stuff the goose with apples and onions

Now the goose is ready to be roasted

For the gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons of goose fat
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 chicken broth, homemade
  • s alt
  • pepper
  • dried Thyme

Ingredients for the gravy


  • Heat the oven to 150-180ºC.
  • Wash and clean goose like a chicken or turkey. Sprinkle s alt, pepper and thyme in the cavity and fill with apple quarters and onions. If they don't all fit, you can arrange them next to the goose.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of s alt with 1 cup of water and pour the mixture into the pan. Pierce the goose bumps in several places to allow the fat to drip out while cooking.
  • The goose, place on the roasting rack and bake in the oven for 50 minutes. Use the s altwater mixture to water the goose several times during this time. Flip the goose and cook an additional 50 minutes, searing as needed.
  • Let the goose rest for 5 minutes while you prepare the sauce.
  • In a small saucepan, mix 2 tablespoons of goose fat with 2 tablespoons of flour and cook for 1 minute.
  • Gradually add the chicken broth, stirring well after each addition.
  • Add s alt, pepper and thyme to taste. Keep warm.

Enjoy your meal and Merry Christmas!

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