by David Draper
To help you prep for the Super Bowl this Sunday, we’re featuring a week’s worth of football food on the Wild Chef.
For all you folks who breast your geese, I would encourage you to make the extra effort to pull out the legs as well. It only takes a few minutes to skin and disjoint the legs from the carcass and it’s well worth your time. It also honors the animal to use as much of the meat as you can.
There are a lot of great recipes you can make with your goose legs, but the key is to cook them slow and moist to break down the tendons and make the meat melt-in-your-mouth tender. Once you cook the meat so it’s falling off the bone, you can eat it as a meal with potatoes and veggies or incorporate it into a shredded meat sandwich. I like to go with the latter, especially in a two-bite slider form that makes great party fare. Typically, a platter full of sliders won’t make it past halftime around my group of friends.
I suppose those of you living in more urban areas can find miniature burger buns, but here in the hinterlands we make our sliders with King Hawaiian rolls from the Safeway. I also had a few mini English muffins in the bread drawer left over from a Harry and David holiday package. If you can find a pack of them, they raise the bar on an already winning party treat.
Serve these sliders with a crisp pickle chip, or whip up a quick slaw by whisking Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, sugar and a little oil together and tossing it with shredded cabbage and carrots.
Goose Leg Sliders
– 6 to 8 Canada goose legs
– 3 tbsp. bacon grease
– 1 onion, sliced
– 3 garlic cloves, mashed
– ½ cup red wine
– 2 cups stock (beef, or better yet goose or game)
– Black pepper
– Ground red pepper
– Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Salt goose legs liberally and sprinkle with a mix of black and ground red pepper.
– Add the bacon grease to a heated skillet and brown goose legs one or two at a time. (If you crowd the pan, you’ll drop the temperature and end up steaming the legs instead of browning them.) Transfer browned legs to roaster or Dutch oven.
– Saute the onion and garlic cloves in the skillet, adding a pinch of salt as they cook down. When the onions are translucent, deglaze the pan with a healthy dose of red wine. (You can also use stock here.) When the wine has reduced, pour the pan sauce over the goose legs.
– Add enough stock to roaster to come halfway up the level of the meat. Seal roaster tightly with foil and place in the oven.
– Go hunting, or otherwise occupy yourself for several hours. Two hours is good. Four is even better.
– Pull the roaster from the oven and remove the foil. The meat should be falling off the leg bones. If it’s not, re-seal the roaster, put it in the oven and go back outside or watch a little pre-game.
– When the meat is done, remove the bones from the pan and drain a bit of the liquid off. Use two forks to shred the meat into short strands.
– You can either serve the meat as is, or mix it with your favorite barbecue sauce. Put some on a slider bun, top with slaw, and enjoy.