So I've been goosed -- now what?
December 8, 2010 8:09 AM   Subscribe

I'm roasting a goose for Christmas dinner, and I'll be steaming a plum pudding as well. What else should I include in my vaguely Dickensian menu?

Links to recipes would be especially appreciated, but ideas that I can go and research on my own are fine, too. Pretty much anything is game, from punch to pies to side dishes. My mom is hosting Mr. Narrative, myself and our dear friend for the holiday, and we want to thank her for her hospitality with a really spectacular meal.

We'll be on Cape Cod (Massachusetts) for the holiday, if it matters in terms of locally available ingredients.
posted by Narrative Priorities to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
We normally have ham, gritty shortbread and mince pies, plus plenty of custard for the pud (and we flame it with brandy too).

Lots of roast veg and gravy with the goose, of course.

Do you have Christmas crackers in the States? If you could get your hands on some of those it would be fun as well.
posted by rubbish bin night at 8:14 AM on December 8, 2010

Roast chestnuts and mince pie.
posted by orange swan at 8:15 AM on December 8, 2010

My mom used to make stuffed dates: whole dates, stuffed with peanut butter, rolled in granulated sugar. They always seemed really old-fashioned to me; not sure they are exactly Dickensian.
posted by CathyG at 8:17 AM on December 8, 2010

They always seemed really old-fashioned to me; not sure they are exactly Dickensian.

Also in the "not sure" basket... Roast lots of veggies with your bird. Potatoes [duh], pumpkin, and turnip. They take about the same time to cook if cut in similar sized chunks.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:23 AM on December 8, 2010

Best answer: Ooh! We're doing this too. If this is your first goose, be warned that a 12-pound bird does not feed nearly as many people as you think it does. (Half the bird is fat, and the amount of meat available on the goose breast is much less than on a comparably-sized turkey; we're augmenting with a Dickensian Supplemental Ham this year)

You are probably roasting potatoes, yes? Goose-fat-roasted potatoes are so amazing that we keep a solid block of frozen leftover goose fat in the freezer at all times.

Oyster fritters would also be appropriate. Apple sauce and braised cabbage would accompany the goose meat very well.

I'd recommend roasting chestnuts, as there is something quintessentially Dickensian about burning the everliving crap out of your fingers trying to peel very-hot-chestnuts while the goose is cooking.

Plum pudding sounds good, but I can't bring myself to eat something containing a pound of suet, so we're making pies instead. Mince meat and apple should keep the theme.
posted by Mayor West at 8:27 AM on December 8, 2010 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Christmas Pudding
posted by I am the Walrus at 8:28 AM on December 8, 2010

Best answer: You should definitely drink Smoking Bishop.

Don't forget to save your goose fat for roasting potatoes, sealing pates, spreading on bread...
posted by peachfuzz at 8:28 AM on December 8, 2010

Best answer: Make real eggnog! I started doing this a few years ago, and now my family insists that I make it every year.

Eggnog in Quantity
Adapted from "The Joy of Cooking"

12 eggs, separated
1 pound confectioner's sugar
4-6 cups bourbon (or rum)
2 quarts whipping cream
pinch of salt
freshly grated nutmeg

1. Strain the egg yolks through a sieve and beat until light in color. Gradually add the sugar. While continuing to beat, slowly add 2 cups of the bourbon. Cover the mixture and let stand for 1 hour.

2. Add 2-4 more cups of liquor and the cream, beating well. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for 3 hours.

3. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold them into the other ingredients. Grate nutmeg to taste into the eggnog and fold it in. Serve with an additional sprinkling of nutmeg over each serving.

NOTE: Julia Child is apparently a crazy lush. I used 4 cups and when my friends tried it I was accused of being a closet alcoholic. So, uh, exercise care.

For the alcohol, Evan Williams bourbon works great and is cheap. But you could use brandy if you wanted to make it more old-timey.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:30 AM on December 8, 2010 [5 favorites]

I'm doing a goose this year as well. Have booked a 12-pounder!

There was recently a recipe in the Observer Food Monthly about a French Christmas recipe for roast goose with celeriac puree that I thought sounded pretty tasty.

I am thinking also red cabbage and some kind of berry sauce (cranberries would be fine in a default, but I was thinking maybe something a little more unusual).

I'll probably also do brussels sprouts. There's a nice recipe that cooks them in an orange juice, butter and Guinness reduction.
posted by sagwalla at 8:31 AM on December 8, 2010

NOTE: Julia Child is apparently a crazy lush.

Julia certainly liked her wine, but she didn't write The Joy of Cooking; that was Irma Rombauer. SORRY I AM A PEDANT AND I COULD NOT KEEP MYSELF FROM MAKING THIS COMMENT.

Hey, speaking of cookbooks and cookbook writers, why not kick it old-school and make some recipes straight out of Mrs. Beeton?
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:33 AM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Might be interesting to look at some 19th century cookbooks at Google Books.
posted by XMLicious at 9:16 AM on December 8, 2010

I much prefer a wild grain stuffing with nuts and cranberries to a bread stuffing.
posted by effluvia at 9:24 AM on December 8, 2010

Whatever you do, label something 'gruel' for the Dickensian cachet.
posted by Beardman at 9:27 AM on December 8, 2010

Best answer: Sugarplums! You still have time to make them (I think they're better when they've aged a week or two in wax paper, like my grandma use to make them).
posted by patheral at 9:35 AM on December 8, 2010

for inspiration and recipes:

Victorian English Christmas on The Food Timeline

some Victorian Christmas recipes on
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:44 AM on December 8, 2010

Roll up streaky bacon and cook the rolls in the roasting pan with the goose. Bacon rolls are an awesome part of Christmas (heck, any bird-roasting event) that Americans, in a mind-blowing moment of inattention given the recent resurgence of bacon, have apparently not discovered.

You can get crackers all over the US these days, so definitely try to find some. Note that the quality might be dramatically low compared to the price you pay (oh, for the days when I actually got real metal jewelry in my crackers, rather than a lameass plastic toy). But you get the silly hats either way, and that's really the point.
posted by obliquicity at 10:13 AM on December 8, 2010

Best answer: We're having goose for the third (fourth?) year running this year. Comments about the number of servings notwithstanding - it also has a much larger body cavity in proportion to its size than a turkey - it's a fantastic bird. You may want to consider brining your goose overnight before cooking. We do two stuffings: fill the body with a mixture of onion, apple & prunes and put a smaller quantity of pork-based stuffing at the neck end (broadly based on this recipe).

As for the accompaniments, here's what we're doing:
- roast potatoes (roasted in goose fat, obviously)
- honeyed parsnips
- buttered carrots
- sprouts with chestnuts and bacon
- bread sauce (incredibly delicious and much more appetising than it sounds!)
- gravy

Afterwards, Christmas pudding with rum sauce and/or brandy butter, followed by the biggest piece of Stilton we can afford with some nice old port.

I'm still umming and ahhing over a starter of potted shrimps.

Whilst none of this is quintessentially Dickensian (or even Victorian), it's all most definitely British (all the veg are in season right now, for instance).
posted by dogsbody at 10:21 AM on December 8, 2010 [3 favorites]

Yorkshire pudding.

Mmm, and gruel, as Beardman suggested.

(And Tiny Tim would probably say "Merry Christmas, Everyone" if you remembered the less fortunate by donating food or something. Only mentioning it bc it's in keeping with the Dickensian spirit, though it's more a recipe for good karma than the dinner table! Sounds delish, enjoy.)
posted by Sarah Jane at 11:35 AM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

honeyed parsnips

Dammit. Parsnips. That's what I meant instead of turnips up there^^.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:47 PM on December 8, 2010

If you want to live dangerously, Snap-dragon is a fun after-dinner game. (Keep a fire extinguisher handy.)
posted by Lexica at 6:25 PM on December 8, 2010

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