Remove all the fat from inside the bird
and use a skewer to prick the goose skin
all over, especially under the wings.
If you have time to spare (although this
isn’t essential), sit the goose in a sink,
then slowly and carefully pour over
3 kettles of boiling water. Dry with kitchen
paper, then leave for 1 hr or so to dry
completely. This will help the skin to crisp.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Season the goose cavity with salt and
pepper and stuff with the oranges,
bay leaves and the thyme. Rub the
breast and legs with 2 tbsp oil and
season generously with salt. Lay the
carrots in the middle of a very large
roasting tin. Sit the bird the right way
up on top of the carrots. In a bowl, toss
the parsnips and turnips with the rest
of the oil and bay leaves, then scatter
around the goose. Cover the tin with
a large piece of foil, scrunching it up
at the sides so it’s a tight fit. Place the
goose in the oven for 1½ hrs.
Take the goose out of the oven.
Remove the foil and carefully use a
baster to suck out most of the fat from
the tin into a bowl. Lightly baste the
goose and turn the parsnips. Re-cover
with foil and roast for another 1½ hrs.
Suck the fat from the pan again and
baste, then increase the heat to
220C/200C fan/gas 7. Return to the
oven without any foil to brown for a final
30-40 mins until golden brown. Remove
the goose from the oven and transfer
to a large board or platter to rest in a
warm-ish place for 30 mins. Scoop the
vegetables out into another roasting
tin and keep warm in a low oven. Keep
the goose tin to finish making the gravy in.
To make the gravy, remove the oranges
from the goose using tongs. Pour off all
the fat from the roasting tin into a bowl
(it’s great used for roasting potatoes).
Scatter the sugar into the tin and stir to
scrape off any tasty brown bits. Splash
in the vinegar, simmer down until
practically dry, then stir in the jelly to
dissolve, bubble and cook down. Finally,
add the stock and squeeze in the juice
from the oranges. Bring everything to
the boil, then strain into a jug or small
saucepan to reheat later.
Peel and halve the pears. Use a
teaspoon to scoop out the cores,
then cut the pears into quarters. In a
bowl, toss the pears in the icing sugar
until completely coated. Heat a large
frying pan over a high flame and add
the pears to the pan. Cook for 1 min
or so, tossing constantly, until the pears
are really well caramelised and slightly
burnt around the edges.
Serve the goose on a platter surrounded
by watercress and pear wedges. Serve
the slow-roasted vegetables in a separate
bowl and the gravy in a gravy boat.