Eastside Road, October 29, 2013—I TRULY THINK the best meat we can eat, pace Virgil, is roast goose. We're fortunate in having, finally, a nearby farmer who raises geese for meat. Thirty or forty years ago there were a number of such farmers; I remember picking up three or four geese for Chez Panisse, on our way back to Berkeley from Sonoma county, in those days.
(I remember fondly picking up six or eight live geese, on Occidental Road near the Gravenstein Highway, and bringing them down to Berkeley in burlap sacks, and cutting their throats for Victoria, who'd made a bargain with me: you kill 'em, I'll pluck 'em.)
Well, times have changed, and whether for squeamishness or governmental regulation there are precious few farms hereabouts raising geese. So when the Neighbor Down the Driveway forwarded an e-mail promising their availability, fresh, at a local farm market on Sunday, I jumped at the chance.
Meanwhile, the next day — yesterday — our oven turned up its heels and died. Fortunately we have a standby, an RV range we installed while building this house. Wonder of wonders, though it hadn't been fired up in years, its oven worked perfectly.
We stuffed the goose with prunes and onion and apple and orange, and roasted it, basting it with red wine from time to time. Meanwhile I cooked a pound of pitted prunes in wine. I shredded a red cabbage and braised it slowly with red wine, a little vinegar, some currant jelly, and cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
Lindsey took care to prepare some potatoes and some yams, and cooked them in the roasting pan with the goose.
It was, well, delicious. Almost up to the goose I fondly remember from Budapest on St. Martin's Day. That's November 11: we're a little early. Oh well: the calendar's completely screwed up this year.
Green salad, of course, and then dessert: Lindsey made a gelée of Beaumes-de-Vénise, topping it with whipped cream — the perfect ending to a roast goose dinner.
Syrah, Preston of Dry Creek, 2009