What does paying taxes and roasted goose have in common? In the middle ages, November 11 was pay day and often taxes were paid with a goose. As crazy as that sounds, in this day and age, the tradition of roasted goose on November 11 still lives on in Germany.
Presently, November 11 is known in Germany as, Martinstag (St. Martin’s Day)and it is celebrated by German children with a parade of handmade lanterns in the evening and after a roast goose dinner. The most well-known legend connected to Saint Martin is when he is said to have cut his cloak in half to share with a poorly dressed beggar which later he believe to be Jesus. Making his action a great example for German children to be good samaritans in their lives.
My family loves an amazingly juicy roast goose but I hate to clean my oven after cooking it. Thankfully this year we made reservations to enjoy our deliciously traditional “Martinstag” goose at the Ratskeller in Schliersee. The Ratskeller is located next door to the Rathaus or town hall. It is traditionally where the Mayor and town council would eat so you are always guaranteed a great meal at a good price at your local Ratskeller.
Sadly it is too late to order roast goose this year but I highly recommend making your reservation for next St. Martins day at the Ratskeller. Schliersee. The goose we ordered was perfectly prepared with crisp crackling skin and the portion size seemed enormous for only being a quarter of the goose. Fragrant and tender red cabbage and potato dumplings accompanied our magnificent meal. The knowledgable servers can also suggest for you the perfect wine to pare with your goose. Petra, Matthias and the entire Ratskeller team were warm and wonderful hosts.
If you are unable to get to our Schliersee Ratskeller here is a recipe you can try for yourself at home.
1 Oven ready goose (4-4.5 kg)
hearty pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
1 bunch of fresh marjoram
4-3 slightly sour apples
250 g of celery root
150 g of mushrooms
2-3 tsp cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons creme fraiche
kitchen twine or cotton string
heavy bottom roasting pan
Remove giblets and extra fat from the goose. Wash innards and goose and pat dry. Rub goose inside and out with salt and pepper.
Chop marjoram. Quarter and core apples. Mix both together and stuff in the goose. Close neck and belly opening with skewers and yarn. Tie the legs and wings tightly to the rest on the goose body.
Peel the onions and quarter them. Peel carrots and celery, cut up roughly. Clean mushrooms and wash if necessary. Toss everything with the giblets into the drip pan and place in the preheated oven at 175 ° C or 347°F.
Put the goose on a rack over the dripping pan. In the pan, pour 1/2 liter of boiling water. Roast the goose for 4-4 1/2 hours. Prick the skin to release the fat about a half hour into roasting time.
Approximately 30 minutes before the end of the roasting time, pour about 1/8 of boiling water onto the drip pan and switch on the oven 225 ° C or 437°F.
Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 3 tablespoons of ice-cold water.
Brush the goose about 15 minutes before end of roast twice with the salt and ice water mixture.
Once done lift the goose off the grate and let it rest.
Put the apples and vegetables from the pan through a sieve. Then deglaze the pan with a little hot water scraping up all the baked on bits and put that through the same sieve. Remove as much as possible of the extra grease off the top with a spoon. Put sauce back into roasting pan. Make a mixture of 5 tablespoons of water and starch together till smooth. Pour this into the sauce. Add the creme fraiche and mix till it makes a smooth gravy.
If you are in our area and would love to try a traditional Martinstag goose, please contact Petra & Matthias at the Ratskeller to make your reservations.
American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).