Goose Lunch Meat

Make delectable goose breast sandwiches using the sous vide cooking method

© John Hoffman, DU

By Scott Leysath

The duck hunting in Northern California, where I live, was a little slow this past season, but the goose hunting was on fire. Limits of specks, snows, and Canada geese were common, and many of my friends asked me for suggestions on what to do with all their goose meat. I recommended this recipe for lunch meat, which works well with any goose species.

You'll need a sous vide (pronounced soo-veed) cooker, an increasingly popular kitchen gadget that circulates water in a container at a specific temperature. You place seasoned meat into a vacuum-sealed bag or zip-top bag and then submerge it in the circulating water bath. After several hours, the meat is perfectly cooked and super tender. The only problem with this cooking method is that it doesn't brown the meat. If you like your meat somewhat charred and crispy on the outside, it's best to undercook it by a few degrees and then transfer to a hot skillet or grill to quickly sear it.

Sous vide cooking basically poaches the meat in its own juices, as well as whatever flavors and seasonings you add to the bag before cooking. It's best to add more seasoning than you would when cooking with other methods, because the seasonings can be diluted with the natural meat juices. Load up the bag with Italian seasonings, chopped fresh garlic, fresh herbs, hot peppers, and marinades to add incredible flavor to the meat. The seasoning possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Photo © John Hoffman, DU

SOUS VIDE GOOSE LUNCH MEAT
Makes: 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

This method works especially well with larger Canada geese, but it's great with any goose species. The skin can be left on or removed. If you leave it on, it will take several minutes in a hot skillet after the sous vide to make the skin side crispy. For best results, brine the meat overnight in a solution of 1/2 gallon water and 1/2 cup each coarse salt and brown sugar.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 goose breast fillets, skin on or off
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Cooking oil

DIRECTIONS

[STEP 1] Season goose breast fillets liberally with salt and pepper. Place each fillet in a separate vacuum bag or freezer-safe zip-top bag, along with equal portions of garlic and rosemary. If you're using vacuum bags, seal them. If you're using zip-top bags, remove as much air as possible before zipping them closed.

[STEP 2] Place the bagged breast fillets in a 134-degree sous vide water bath for six hours. Remove fillets from bags, pat dry, and sear in a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned on both sides. Allow to cool completely.

[STEP 3] Once cooled, slice thinly across the grain. For easier slicing, partially freeze breast fillets first.


Photo © John Hoffman, DU

HERO WORSHIP Thinly sliced, seasoned goose meat is the foundation of a praise-worthy sandwich.