Monday, December 22, 2014

The Goose - A Traditional German Holiday Dinner

This year, hubby requested American-style holiday dinner again: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, and pies for dessert. But since most of you already have your own family recipes on all of these, and mine aren't really special, I would like to share our traditional German holiday dinner recipes, which I made last year for our family.

Roasted Goose with Bread Dumplings and Pickled Red Cabbage

1 goose, fresh or thawed, guts and neck removed
1 small head of red cabbage
about 8 - 10 sour dough bread rolls, cut into cubes and dried for a couple of days
1 small onion
1-2 carrots
1 parsley root
some parsley
3 eggs
red wine
apple juice
apple cider vinegar
2-3 bay leaves
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
salt / pepper / paprika / nutmeg / flour / butter / sugar

Prepare ahead:
2-3 days ahead: cut bread rolls into cubes and store in a large bowl to dry

1 day ahead: prepare the red cabbage:
Slice the cabbage in very finely, removing the stem. Put the cabbage slices in a large pot and add about 1 cup of red wine, 1 cup of apple juice, 1/2 cup of vinegar, the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Cook slowly on low heat, add liquid as required. When the cabbage is soft, let cool, remove the spices and store at a cool place overnight.

The day of:
Pre-heat the oven to 450F. Place the goose in a large frying pan. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika and brush some olive oil in it; place the goose in the oven. After about 20 minutes reduce the heat to about 300F and cook for another 3-4 hours; turn the goose about every hour and pour some water or red wine over it if necessary to keep it moist.

Meanwhile chop the onion, carrot and parsnip root very finely. Melt some butter in a pan and cook vegetables. Add to the prepared bread cubes, spice with salt and pepper and pour enough warm milk to moisten the bread properly. Add the eggs and the chopped parsnip and mix everything well with your hands. Set aside.

About 30 minutes before the goose is done, heat a large pot of water. Once the water boils add a generous pinch of salt. Form round dumplings from the bread mixture with moist hands and gently place them in the boiling water. Cook until dumplings rise to the surface and remove with a slotted spoon.

Slowly re-heat the cabbage and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar if necessary.

Once the goose is done, remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan and stir in 1-2 tablespoons of flour. Add the goose drippings and whisk until the butter/flour mix is dissolved. Add more liquid (water, milk, or red wine) if needed and bring to a boil. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, if necessary.

Serve the goose with the dumplings, cabbage, and gravy.


A rich meal like this one is best complemented by a high-quality wine. I would recommend a full-bodied Burgundy or Bordeaux red wine to go with it.

This post has been entered to the Yapp Festive Foodies' Christmas Blogging Competition, sponsored by the Yapp Brothers Company.


  1. I have always wanted to try goose! Maybe next year. :)

    1. You definitely should! It's more greasy than turkey, but simply delicious if you cook it right!