luis_mw: (cook)
[personal profile] luis_mw
It's that time of year again...

Sadly, Warborne Organic Farm closed their farm shop after the holidays last year. It wasn't making enough money, so they have decided to revert to growing organic crops for the wholesale market.

Fortunately, their butchers, John & Les, decided to carry on. They took over another farm shop in the area and re-opened, mostly selling organic meat, but also stocking some vegetables and and fine comestibles. It's a bit further out, and doesn't have such a wide range, but we still pop in for stuff now and again. Way back in the summer, we asked if they were going to be doing geese for Christmas, and they said they would, as they thought they had a supplier sorted out. Back in October or so, we were up there again, and saw they were taking reservations, so we placed an order.

Yesterday, I called to make sure it was ready for collection. It was, but only because a friend of John's kindly drove down to Devon in his estate car to collect them. Otherwise, they would have been stranded down there by the snow. I drove up there, collected the goose and a few other bits and pieces, chatted with John & Les for a while until the shop got busy, and headed on home again...

To prepare for the annual ritual of brining the goose...

Watch, watch, the brining of the goose
Watch and see the spices flowing
See the goosey in the bath
Brining for my Yuletide meal

One organic goose, fresh from the butcher

One plate of ingredients for the bath

One goose, suitably submerged

And protected from the elements

[1] To the Tune of Shaking of the Sheets...

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-23 10:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i wish i was there to have some goose! i have always wanted to try it and you taunt me every year! *laughs* i hope it turns out delightful!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-23 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Fascinating. Now for questions!!

What do you add to the brine?
Is there a particular reason for brining? Would you confine it simply to geese or could it be used for turkey??

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-24 12:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, in this particular case - salt (I had a box of kosher salt[1] that somehow made it into my boxes of kit after an event a couple of years ago[2], but any old salt[3] will do, brown sugar, a lemon[4], a couple of blades of mace, some squashed juniper berries, some peppercorns, a few cloves of garlic (crushed), and a stick of cinnamon (missing from the photo)[5]. You could throw in other herbs if you wanted.

Why - it's like a marinade - helps keep the meat moist during cooking (well, the brine bit does - the rest is just for flavour).

And yes, you could do it with turkey - which could be a good thing as turkey is a dry meat. I've never done it myself. Some people claim it makes the meat too salty, but I reckon that's probably caused by too much salt.

[1] Which had a receipe for prawns printed on the box, which I found rather amusing for a kosher product.
[2] Possibly courtesy of A****, who has a habit of purchasing things on base and then telling me that I asked for whatever it was, or left it behind last time.
[3] Possibly not the sort you put in the dishwasher.
[4] Which also gets squished once in the water.
[5] I bought some cinnamon at an Xmas fair last year - sold in yard-long scrolls - just because I had never seen it that long. It went in later as I couldn't find it at the time, but then found it while cleaning.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-24 04:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We brine our turkey, and it is well worth the effort. I've never felt that the turkey was too salty, and we consume quite low levels of salt overall and so tend to be sensitive to it.



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