Firstly, remove the bird from the plastic and allow it to air, and to reach room temperature. Stuff the goose. A fruity stuffing (apricots, prunes, apples or figs) as well as a sausage meat stuffing with lots of herbs is really delicious, as the fruitiness really compliments the dark meat.
Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees centigrade or Mark 5. Lay the goose on a small rack inside your roasting dish if possible, so that the bird is not sitting in excess fat during its cooking time. The fat may be drained off and used for roast potatoes. Goose fat reaches a high temperature and is renowned for producing great roast potatoes.
Prick the skin of the goose all over with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Lay some of the excess fat from the opening of the goose, or better still some Fern Verrow fatty bacon on the thighs to stop the legs from drying. Cover the bird with foil. Place in the oven. Roast a 4kg goose for approximately 3 hours, a 5kg goose for 3½ hours and a 5 ½ kg goose for 4 hours. Remove the foil 30-40 minutes before the end to allow to skin to brown and crisp up. Serve with the usual “trimmings” such as bread sauce and a good sharp apple or cranberry sauce.