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Prick the skin of the goose all over with a sharp skewer or fork and pull the inside fat out of the bird and reserve. Rub salt over the skin.
To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Separate the goose liver from the giblets and chop finely, then add to the onion and cook gently for 2-3 minutes. Remove the stones from half of the prunes and discard. Chop the prunes roughly and stir into the onion with the port. Cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add the sage and breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly together. Season the stuffing mixture to taste.
Spoon the stuffing into the neck end of the goose, then truss with strong cotton or fine string. Weigh the bird. Put on a wire rack placed in a roasting tin. Cover the breast with the reserved fat and then the foil. Roast at 200°C, gas mark 6, 400°F for 15 minutes per 1lb/450g plus 15 minutes, basting frequently. Thirty minutes before the end of the cooking time, drain off the fat and discard. Core the apples and cut into eighths, then add to the tin with the remaining prunes and wine. Place the bird on top, standing on the roasting rack. Remove the foil and the fat and cook, uncovered, for the last 30 minutes.
Serve the roast goose with the cooking juices, the apples and the prunes. Plain boiled or mashed potatoes go well with the richness of goose. Braised red cabbage is also a traditional accompaniment.
9-11lb oven-ready goose, with giblets, thawed if frozen 4-5kg
1lb no-soak prunes 450g
6 CoxÕs Orange Pippin apples
1 large onion, skinned and chopped
4oz fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs 100g
1tbsp chopped fresh parsley or 1tsp fresh
1cup dry white wine 1/2pt/280ml
1/2oz butter 15g
salt & pepper