Colonial Goose is the name for a surprisingly effective preparation of roast leg of lamb.
Early colonial pioneers in New Zealand had sheep aplenty, but goose was relatively scarce. To prepare dishes similar to those they had back home in England the pioneers were very inventive. Colonial Goose is now a recognised classic, with some restaurants featuring it as a main attraction at midwinter festivities (June 21 in NZ). It involves the careful boning out a leg of lamb, stuffing it with honey and dried apricots, and then marinating it in a red wine based marinade which even gives it the appearance of goose when cooked.
You need a large leg of mutton. If you don’t know how to bone it out, ask your butcher to do it, stressing that you need to be able to stuff it.
- For the stuffing
- 30g (2 Tbsp) butter
- 1 large tablespoon clear honey
- 125g (1/2 Cup) dried apricots, finely diced
- 1 medium sized onion, finely diced
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- quarter teaspoon of salt
- quarter teaspoon of dried thyme
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 beaten egg
- For the marinade
- To prepare the stuffing, melt the butter and honey over low heat, add the other ingredients and combine well.
- Force the stuffing into the cavity in the meat, and sew it up with fine string.
- Place the leg into a plastic bag (which sits in a large bowl), and add the marinade mixture.
- The meat is best prepared just after breakfast, so it can then be regularly turned over in the marinade throughout the day.
- Cook in oven at 180 °C for two hours but check on progress at 90 minutes. If the meat looks like over browning, it can be covered by foil.
- Remove the string before carving.
- Strain the marinade and use three or four tablespoons of the liquor to make gravy.