Catholic Recipe: Goose with Apple Stuffing
Also Called: Martinsgans mit Apfelfüllung
Roast goose is a delicious, seasonal meal, found in Germany from November to January. In the country's Catholic regions, goose is associated with St. Martin's Day (November 11). Legend has it that one night St. Martin, then a Roman soldier, gave half his cloak to a freezing beggar. Later in his life, when called to be bishop of Tours, Martin became afraid and tried to hide in a goose shed, only to be given away by a noisily protesting gander. These scenes play a part in traditional St. Martin's day celebrations. Reminiscent of Halloween, children march at dusk with lanterns and sing at neighbors' doors for candy. As it gets dark, a warming bonfire is lit in the town square with a visit paid by "St. Martin" to once again offer half his cloak. Local restaurants begin offering goose on this day.
Trim excess fat from goose. Heat giblets, water, sliced onion and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until giblets are done, about 1 hour. Strain broth; cover and refrigerate. Chop giblets; toss with remaining ingredients except 1 teaspoon salt and the flour. Rub cavity of goose with 1 teaspoon salt. Fold wings across back with tips touching. Fill neck and body cavities of goose lightly with stuffing. Fasten neck skin of goose to back with skewers. Fasten opening with skewers; lace with string. Tie drumsticks to tail. Prick skin all over with fork. Place goose breast side up on rack in shallow roasting pan.
Roast uncovered in 350° oven until done, 3 to 3 1/2 hours, removing excess fat from pan occasionally. Place a tent of aluminium foil loosely over goose during last hour to prevent excessive browning. Goose is done when drumstick meat feels very soft. Place goose on heated platter. Let stand 15 minutes for easier carving.
Meanwhile, pour drippings from pan into bowl. Return 1/4 cup drippings to pan. Stir in flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. If necessary, add enough water to reserved broth to measure 2 cups. Stir into flour mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Serve goose with apple stuffing and gravy.