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.


  1. I tried corning some antelope once and can safely say that at least my experiment with it was a disaster.

    How does this to corned beef, my only frame of reference for corned anything?

    On geese, I shot one yesterday that had a broken wing. The goose was thin, which is unusual for geese here, although I doubt it had been there for more than a couple of days at the most.

    Safe to eat?

  2. If corned well with lots of spices and time, it should have that flavorful, salty meat taste, similar to corned beef. Unfortunately, it does require some sort of nitrate product, like Tender Quick, to get the proper color, texture and taste, along with piece of mind against botulism.

    Your broken winged goose should be safe to eat if you do not see any discoloration or off odor in the meat. I wouldn't hang it, but rather breast it right away.

    I am still working on a Thai duck recipe you mentioned...does it have a basil flavor?

  3. Thanks for the answers!

    I'm not sure if it has a basil flavor or not, I'm afraid, as I must admit that I don't really know what basil taste like. It has an excellent taste and texture, and is served with some sort of spicy sweet and sour sauce. Not the type you get in a Chinese restaurant, but something less sweet with much more of a spicy bite.