Monday, January 3, 2011

Corned Goose

The second half of waterfowl season is in full swing until January 9th in Seneca County. There is a daily limit of 3 Canada Geese and 25 Snow Geese per day (hunting of this species is obviously encouraged, and you can read more about this in an earlier post, "Snow Geese Abound"). What to do with all this goose meat? You can freeze some for later use with a vacuum sealer or butcher paper, smoke some, make jerky, and you can corn it, along with many other possibilities. Corning meat is a relatively simple process, consisting of placing the meat in a brining solution, similar to preparing meat for smoking, though for a longer period of time, about 5-7 days, and then slow cooking the meat in water for 3-5 hours with or without cabbage. Here is the recipe...

Corned Goose (or venison)

4 goose breast pieces (from 2 birds) or a 3-5 lb venison roast
2 quarts water
1/2 cup canning or pickling salt
1/2 cup tender quick salt (this is a curing salt which contains nitrates and should not be substituted for food safety reasons, color and taste. A common brand is Morten Tender Quick)
5-6 whole peppercorns or 1 T. cracked black pepper
3 T. sugar
2-3 T. pickling spice
6 crushed garlic cloves
1 T. thyme (optional)
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Bring the water, salt, sugar, and spices to a boil for a few minutes (all of the ingredients except the goose!) and then remove from heat and allow to return to room temperature or colder. Place the boneless, skinless goose breasts in a glass, ceramic or plastic container that is large enough to hold the goose with a few inches of head space. Do not use a metal container. Pour the cooled brining liquid over the goose meat to cover it. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, turning the meat occasionally. Remove the goose meat from the brine and cook it in a crock pot or dutch oven by covering the meat with clean water and allowing it to simmer for 3-5 hours until tender. Cut it into thin slices for serving with mustard or sauerkraut.

Note: The same recipe can be used for a 3-5 pound venison roast.