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Remove the neck and giblets from the goose and place to one side. Remove all the visible fat in the body cavity, pat the goose dry and rub with salt and pepper. Place the thyme, the apples, the celery and the onions in the cavity, skewer shut with poultry pins and tightly lace with twine.
Fold the wings flat against the back of the bird and skewer the neck skin to the back. Place the goose breast side down in a lightly oiled large, shallow roasting pan. Prick the skin well all over with a fork and roast the goose, uncovered for 30 minutes at 500F/gas mark 10/250C. Reduce heat to 400F/gas mark 6/200C and roast, uncovered for a further 30 minutes.
Pour off all the dripping and carefully turn goose over, breast side up roast uncovered for a further hour. Pour the drippings from the pan again and prick the goose again with a fork. Put the remaining 2 cups of water in pan and continue to roast the goose, uncovered for 60 to 90 minutes. Pour off all drippings again and reserve. Place the goose on a platter cover with a foil tent and allow to stand for 30 minutes.
Skim 6 tablespoons of fat from the pan drippings and heat for 1 minute in large pan over a low heat, add the flour and cook for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Measure 3 cups of giblet juice (cooked while goose was roasting) drippings and broth, add to the pan and turn up the heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened and smooth. Add the salt and pepper to taste and the finely chopped giblets if desired.
Traditionally served with red cabbage and mashed potatoes.
10-12lb oven ready goose
4 thyme sprigs
4 bay leaves
3 tart apples, quartered
2 onions, peeled and quartered
2 celery ribs, cut into 2 inch pieces
5 cups cold water 2 1/2pts
1 cup beef broth 8floz/225ml