The challenge is that they catch on to just about every trick in the book so darn quickly.
So Scott and I waited, and the afternoon began to grow cold. I sat in my layout blind and listened for Scott's voice from the other blind next to me. He had me looking in all sorts of directions through the crack in the flaps that concealed my head. I saw a lot of birds fly over, but none came close enough to shoot. We called and we called, me with an iPod shuffle attached to speakers and Scott with his traditional goose call. Then, like it was a godsend, a fat, white snow goose descended from its flock. It stretched out its wings and legs to let the wind catch it from underneath, allowing its body to hover, almost freeze in midair right in front of me-- the perfect opportunity for a shot. "Take it!" Scott shouted. I flipped open the covers to my blind, took aim and shot twice. The goose dropped to the ground and I whooped and threw up my hands in victory. It was such a great rush. There's something about shooting a bird in the air that's so exciting and different compared to deer hunting. I can't wait to go duck hunting next season!
This recipe is sort of Scott's idea. He mentioned sticking his goose in grape jelly once, so I looked into it. I found a pulled pork recipe using pomegranate jelly online and built upon it. It was actually pretty good. I'm not much of a goose eater, but the crockpot cooking process got rid of the gamey taste so familiar to many waterfowl species. Similar to BBQ sauce, this recipe follows the same sweet and tangy flavor profile using strawberry-blackberry preserves and many savory spices. I strongly recommend that you make this a day ahead. This allows the flavors to fully develop.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 hours (prepare one day ahead before serving)
- legs, thighs and breasts of 1 snow goose
- 3 tbs. of light brown sugar
- 2 tsp. of Hungarian paprika
- 1 tsp. mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 slice of bacon
- 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbs. of tomato paste
- 1/8 cup of fruit jelly or preserves (I used strawberry-blackberry preserves)
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped (more if you're adventurous)
- potato buns or rolls
- 3 cups of shredded cabbage
- 1/2 cup of shredded carrot
- 1/2 cup of Best Foods Olive Oil Mayo
- 1 tsp. of rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. of sugar
- 1 tsp. of Louisiana Hot Sauce, or to taste
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
If you like, you can brine or simply soak the goose in cold water overnight to leech out blood.
1. Remove visible silver skin from breasts. Pat all pieces dry with paper towels. Don't stress over getting all of the silver skin. It will melt in the crock pot anyway.
Sprinkle ground black pepper and salt all over all legs, thighs and breasts. Then rub the spice mixture over all the pieces.
3. Cook the slice of bacon in a cast iron pan. Remove the bacon. Sear the goose in the bacon grease over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Do not overcrowd the pan. Do not cook the meat through. All you want is a nice sear on the outside.
Transfer goose to a plate and set aside.
4. Combine 2 cups of water, vinegar, tomato paste and the remaining 2 tbs. of brown sugar in a crock pot. Add the cooked bacon, goose and all its juices.
Make sure the goose is submerged. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, or until meat is tender.
5. Meanwhile, combine all coleslaw ingredients in a medium bowl. Adjust seasonings, as necessary. If it's too dry, add more mayo. If it's too tart, add more sugar. Too sweet, and more vinegar.
Cover and refrigerate to let flavors marry.
6. Once the goose is tender, remove the pieces from the crock pot and shred the meat with forks. Discard bones. Set aside.
7. Pour the cooking liquids from the crockpot into a saucepan. Add the jelly/preserves and chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce by half, or until thickened into a sauce. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour the sauce into another container for serving, but leave about 1 cup.
Add the shredded meat to the remaining sauce. Add more sauce if it's too dry.
For best results, refrigerate the meat, covered, one day prior to serving. This helps the flavors develop. It's totally worth the wait!
Serve pulled snow goose on potato buns with coleslaw and extra sauce on the side.