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.
Remove the Duck from the packaging, and pat the skin dry. Sprinkle a little salt on skin and place in a roasting tin, prick the skin with a fork and cover with foil. Add NO fat. Cook in a moderately hot oven for one hour. This allows the beautiful yellow fat to melt. Remove foil, baste with fat in the pan, turn heat up a little and allow skin to colour.
Half an hour before the bird is cooked mix up a sweet, fruity peppery glaze. I use a fruity jelly, for instance redcurrant, a dash of orange juice and rind, soya sauce, crushed peppercorns, honey, ginger or anything else that you think might be nice. The consistency must be able to coat and stick to the bird. Spread this onto the skin and cook for a further half an hour, basting regularly, and ensure that the glaze doesn´t burn.
Remove bird from oven, carve, and serve with the juices from roasting tin. Cooking time should be about 25 mins per lb.
Firstly soak your ham in cold water for about six hours. Change the water. Add one or two carrots, an onion, and a couple of bay leaves. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 25 minutes per lb. Remove from stock. (save the stock, as it flavours soups very well.) Allow ham to cool for one hour. Trim off the skin. You then need to prepare your glaze. Mix something sweet, this can be brown sugar, honey or marmalade-with mustard and wine vinegar. Make this into a paste. Spread it over the fat on the ham. Put into a hot oven for half an hour until the glaze melts and turns golden. Keep an eye on this as the glaze can catch. Alternatively you can mix breadcrumbs with fresh green herbs, place on the ham, pour melted butter over it, toast in the hot oven. The ham can be served straight away – as hot, but of course you may leave it to cool and eat cold over a week. Very handy to have around at busy times.