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Catholic Recipe: Roast Goose


  • salt
  • 1 8-pound goose
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram
  • 6 small apples, pared, cored
  • 1 cup water or stock


Serves: 6

Prep Time: 3 1/2-4 hours

Difficulty: • • • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:21+

Origin: Austria, Central and Western Europe


Food Categories (2)


Often Made With (3)


Similar Recipes (1)


Feasts (1)

Also Called: Martinsgans

The feast of St. Martin of Tours, Confessor, who died in 397, was generally observed as a thanksgiving day in past centuries. He is pictured as a Roman soldier on a horse, with a goose at the feet of the horse. This image of the goose was a symbolic indication that his feast day was the last day on which a festive meal could be eaten, because on November 12 the strict Advent fast began in France during the early Middle Ages.

Thus the custom began of eating the "Martin's Goose" on the feast of the Saint. Even today in many sections of Europe a roast goose is faithfully served on this day.

St. Martin's feast closed the series of thanksgiving celebrations for the harvests of the year, and as such became the main "Thanksgiving." This custom was brought by the Pilgrims to the New World, and out of it grew the American tradition of Thanksgiving Day.


Salt cavity, skin of goose. Rub cavity with marjoram. Stuff cavity with apples. Truss bird; cover bottom of roasting pan with warm water. Roast 3 hours at 325┬░, breast side up. Prick with fork about legs and wings so fat will run out. Baste frequently with juices combined with water.

Skim fat off gravy completely. Add 1 cup soup stock; bring to boil. Increase oven heat 10 minutes before serving to crisp skin of goose. Serve with pan juice.

Recipe Source: Catholic Cookbook, The by William I. Kaufman, The Citadel Press, New York, 1965