My husband has taken up waterfowl hunting, and he loves it. He brings home at least one goose every time ventures out. Unlike the geese in the grocery store, these come in slightly battered and scarred by shot. Also, unlike farmed geese, these are “working geese”. These aren’t farm animals standing around all day. These are flying geese! As a result, the meat tends to be a bit tough and there’s no awesome leftover goose fat. His hunting buddies relayed to him that the goose legs and thighs were inedible and most of them just use the breast meat. I determined that this was a personal challenge to me to see if I could make them edible.
About the same time, my wonderful friend Pam gave me a pressure cooker. There are many kitchen appliances I have used, but a pressure cooker just isn’t one of them. They’ve always intrigued me. It’s the opposite of a slow cooker, but with the same result! You want tender pot roast in an hour? The pressure cooker is your device. The price, however, is this slight, remote chance that there could be an explosion if something goes wrong with the cooker. Besides burns and cuts, we can add explosions to the dangers of cooking!!
So, I thought this my fortuitous acquisition of a pressure cooker at the same time my husband started to come home with these tough little birds couldn’t be a coincidence.
A few years ago, I made a goose recipe from Epicurious.com with Armagnac and Prunes and it was amazing. I know, I know. Prunes. I get it. But, the pressure cooker dissolves these suckers into nothing and they leave behind a slightly sweet and distinct taste. Really. It is good. No one will know you put prunes in this dish, they will just know it’s awesome. As mentioned above, this goose was too tough to roast outright, so I just could draw flavor inspiration from that recipe for this one. The prunes and red wine were an amazing combination with the rich goose meat, so I used that part of the recipe to create this one.
The pressure cooker wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be. I didn’t fill it up too high, made sure the steam was escaping and didn’t let the pressure get too high and we got this amazing goose dish! The thighs and legs were completely tender, as was the breast. Mission accomplished!!! So, if you are faced with game meat, I would seriously consider a pressure cooker to make game meat tender and amazing! This recipe was incredibly easy to execute!
As a disclaimer, please follow your own pressure cooker instructions to ensure the safe cooking of this dish.
Goose in Red Wine and Prunes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 75 minutes
¼ cup duck or goose fat, or vegetable oil or clarified butter
1 onion, medium dice
1 cup of diced celery
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
8-10 prunes, sliced in half
1 cup full bodied red wine
1 cup water or chicken broth
1 Wild Goose (5-6 pounds), skinned and quartered (2 breasts, 2 leg quarters)
Heat duck fat in pressure cooker over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots and cook until the onion is translucent. Add salt, pepper, thyme and prunes. Sauté for a minute. Add wine and chicken broth. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a pressure cooker, the alcohol does not boil off. Obviously, we need to do that before beginning to pressure cook the goose. Add the goose parts, legs first, breasts on top. Add the lid of the pressure cooker and, following your pressure cooker’s instructions, bring the pressure cooker to high pressure for 60 minutes. For my cooker, I need to lower the temperature to medium low to maintain a safe pressure level after the ideal pressure level is reached. At the end of the 60 minutes, remove from the heat and allow pressure cooker to cool until the lid can be safely removed.