Saturday 10 December 2005
It's always a good idea to get ahead by having gravy, or at least the basis for it, already made. Beats scrabbling around after the meat's cooked and leaving it to wait for the liquid in the roasting tin to take on some flavour. Try to keep a good supply of gravy in the freezer for roasts and quick sauces.
With goose, or any poultry come to that, you'll never have enough giblets and neck to flavour your gravy, so bring in reinforcements. I'd strongly recommend getting in some extra chicken wings, necks and bones to make the gravy up a couple days before. This recipe should make enough for Christmas Day, so scale up the quantities accordingly for large batches to store in the freezer.
500g chicken, or duck bones, or a mixture, chopped into small pieces, plus goose giblets
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped f
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
1 leek, trimmed, roughly chopped and washed
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1tsp tomato purée
2 litres chicken stock (a good cube will do)
6 black peppercorns
A few sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Roast the bones, goose giblets and the vegetables and garlic for about 15-20 minutes until lightly coloured, giving them a good stir every so often. When they are a nice golden-brown colour, add the tomato purée then the flour and stir well with the bones and vegetables in the roasting pan. Return the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Remove the roasting tray from the oven to the hob. Add a little of the stock and give it a good stir over a low flame. This will remove any residue from the tray and begin the thickening process. Transfer everything into a large saucepan, cover with the rest of the stock and some cold water if the stock doesn't cover the bones and add the peppercorns, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, skim off any scum that forms and simmer for 2 hours. The gravy may need topping up with water to keep the ingredients covered. Skim occasionally as required. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and remove any fat with a ladle. Check its strength and reduce it if necessary. If the gravy is not thick enough, dilute some cornflour in a little cold water and stir in.
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