“There never was such a goose. Bob said he didn't believe there ever was such a goose cooked. Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness, were the themes of universal admiration. Eked out by apple-sauce and mashed potatoes, it was a sufficient dinner for the whole family; indeed, as Mrs. Cratchit said with great delight (surveying one small atom of a bone upon the dish), they hadn't ate it all at last!” – A Christmas Carol
Everyone in the Christmas-celebrating world has seen at least one version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Whether he’s played by Alastair Sim, Mickey Mouse, or Kermit, Bob Cratchit has the tastiest-sounding Christmas meal of any Christmas story: roast goose (the roast beast being a close second). Upon seeing it on the spit, the first thing one thinks is “That looks ever so delicious!” The second thing is “Who the heck eats goose on Christmas?”
Germans, that’s who. That's right; goose is more likely to be found in Germany than in jolly ol' England. In Germany, roast goose is called Gänsebraten. It is traditionally stuffed with onions, chestnuts, and apples; and it is seasoned with salt, pepper, marjoram, and barely much else. It may be topped with goose or cranberry gravy or red cabbage.
Although Baltimore houses plenty of the descendants of German immigrants (myself included), finding German food out is difficult. There’s pretty much Eichenkranz in Highlandtown, and that’s about it, save maybe a few restaurants that may include sauerkraut or bratwurst on their menu.So if you want German food, either visit your friend Fritz or make it yourself. One can find an 8-pound (standard size) frozen goose at the local Safeway in Canton. Another place certain to carry it is H-Mart in Catonsville, where you can find everything from frog legs to cow bile. It also helps that duck is also popular in Catonese food, which makes it even more likely to be there since H-Mart specializes in Asian groceries.
There are sure to be many websites with Gänsebraten recipes, but the website for Schiltz Goose Farms has compiled dozens of recipes from all over, so there is sure to be few gems there. Be just like Bob Cratchit with the Dickens Style goose recipe. If you want authentic German goose, check out Travels through Germany.
Pass the Bratkartoffeln, bitte!