Blackwells Free Range Geese
he day old gosling’s are collected by us from Norfolk Geese at Pulham Market, a family run hatchery.
We have two batches; the first batch arrive mid-April, the second batch 4 weeks later. The goose is still a seasonal bird with the first egg being laid around Valentine’s Day and the laying period finishing in July.
We aim to get the first available gosling’s, which enables us to get them grazing on the free range paddocks at 4 weeks of ages around mid-May and onwards. This is when the grass is at its best and will benefit the geese the most, grass loses its value by July so this is when we introduce our own home produced wheat.
The geese will be 26 to 30 weeks old by the time of their slaughter, they will have the full goodness of the grass and will be fully mature which enhances the flavor as opposed to larger producers who will be slaughtering geese at 18 weeks old. Many of those will have been reared indoors in controlled environments, their muscles will not be fully matured and the birds will be floppy and wet in appearance.
Order Your Michaelmas or Christmas Goose
In the past, geese were fattened on corn stubble or the gleanings of barley left over by the reapers. Nowadays geese, which do not lend themselves to intensive rearing, spend most of their life out on grass being fed locally grown corn at night and during the last few weeks of their life. Thus a very high density meat is produced which calls for smaller plate portions than other types of poultry.
As a general rule approximately 1 LB per person should be allowed when purchasing a fresh oven ready bird. Although geese are comparatively expensive, they are economical as there is little or no waste. There will be the added bonus of a certain quantity of fat drained off during the cooking process and this keeps well in refrigerator or freezer. It is invaluable for cooking roast potatoes with a delicious flavour or it can be used to make an exceptionally light pastry.
As fresh geese are only available from Michaelmas to Christmas they can he stored in a freezer for use at other times of the year with no adverse effect on the flavour. Thaw slowly for 24-48 hours.