Braised Goose in Red Wine Reduction

When I was growing up my mother used to make duck for special occasions. It was one of her delicacies, delicious and tender and bathed in a sweet apricoty sauce and we all looked forward to it and enjoyed every speck of it when it was served. Till this day when I go back to visit I hope that her duck will be on the menu. Duck has a distinct game-y taste that is unique but not too overwhelming like other game meat can taste and is very rich and fatty. I remember once instead of making duck my mother tried the same recipe but with goose. A tad bit drier but still meltingly delicious and so when I came across goose legs in the supermarket I knew I would need to make them for our special meal. I decided to take a different route in cooking them- instead of cooking them in a sweet sauce, I braised them in a rich red wine sauce that infused the goose with incredible flavor and color and added some dried plums to the sauce as well for a little sweetness. Served over dumplings to catch the sauce this dish was heavenly. I don't think I'll be able to wait for our next anniversary to make these again! Enjoy!

2 Goose (or Duck) Bottoms, halved
3 Tbl olive oil
1 large leek (or onion), chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with the back of your knife but not chopped
1/2 cup good dry red wine
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dried plums, halved
1 tsp brown sugar

In a heavy bottomed and oven proof pot (like a dutch oven) heat the olive oil over high heat. Season the goose with salt and pepper and place skin side down in the pot. Cook until a lot of fat renders off and the skin is golden brown. Turn the goose over and cook another 2 minutes. Remove the goose from the pot and drain off all but 1-2 Tbls of the fat. Add the leek, carrot, celery and garlic to the pot and cook over medium heat until the leek is translucent all the while scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the wine, stock, thyme, plums and brown sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the goose back in, cover tightly with the lid and place in a 350 degree oven. Cook for about 2 hours or until the goose if fork tender. Remove the goose and skim the fat off the sauce. 


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