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Goose Fat

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Goose Fat The food hounds may have already noticed that every Christmas food article sings the praises of Goose over Turkey.

On the back of this goose fat is a must buy this Christmas. For the initiated a goose releases copious amounts of fat as it roasts (so much so that you need to tip this away a few times during cooking). This fat can be cooled, stored for a few months and used for
cooking and flavouring.

It has several culinary uses, most popular for making the best roast potatoes. As it has a high burn point you can really crank the heat up in the oven to make crispy roasts. It has a relatively low proportion of saturated fat, and higher proportions of mono-unsaturated and essential fatty acids - meaning that as animal fat goes its pretty healthy!

Other uses are for spreading on breead instead of butter, pastry, making confit, in cassoulet and as a frying medium. A few tablespoons can be used to fry an egg or for many a warming winter dish. Try it with pork, sausages and lentils. The French know all about this and selling ready cooked jars of lentils cooked with goose fat plus confit and cassoulet. Talking of the French, commercial goose fat is often a by product of the foie gras industry.

For more information on goose fat and the cooking of South West France (where confit, cassoulet and foie gras originate) buy "Goose Fat & Garlic" (1£0.99 paperback) by Jeanne Strang. This is a classic which ranks equally with Elizabeth David and Jane Grigson. It's not that well known, no pictures, simple line drawings but you can guarantee that a copy sits on every food writers bookcase.

Sales of goose fat are rocketing at the supermarkets, buy a jar for the Xmas spuds from most supermarkets, Tesco, Sainsbury and Waitrsoe all stock it. Lastly, you can always rub it on your chest to fight a cold!

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