The Farmstead Kitchen – Winter Mode & Goose Confit
The lady ducks have declared winter vacation, and we’re quick to follow suit. They take a break from laying eggs for the winter, while we work on planning for the season to come. We love our farm, love being here and don’t really need to go anywhere exotic, not for a while at least.
After our intense Fall Poultry Harvesting and a lovely Thanksgiving Dinner with family, it’s the time of year when we settle into winter mode. It’s a break from the hard work of a successful and busy season, although there are always year round chores. We so enjoy having this time of year to work on writing projects, get into big cooking experiments, spread out the seed catalogs and plan for our upcoming CSA season. Of course we savor the rest and the free time to read novels too! We’ll be taking cross country skis and walks around the perimeter of the farm, dreaming of years from now and how we might be utilizing and interacting with different parts of our land.
Winter means finishing up some projects, and we finally got around the using up the last of our apple cache. About 150lbs worth! Most of the apples were simmered until soft, strained and then the resulting juice was simmered down with honey to concentrate it. Super delicious on french toast! The warm apple pulp went to our very happy piggies. The rest of the apples were chopped up to ferment into a delightful apple vinegar.
We just made our first batch of goose confit. Look at how fabulously fatty our goslings are! Goose fat is one of the most healthy fats there is. From the hilariously appropriately named website “Goosefat.co.uk”
- Although animal fats are often considered to be ‘bad fats’, goose fat is one of the better ones and contains far fewer saturated fats than butter or lard. Goose Fat contains 32.7g Saturated Fat per 100g compared with 54g for Butter and 40.8g for Lard.
- Goose Fat is high in ‘heart healthy’ monounsaturated (55g compared to 19.8g in butter) and polyunsaturated fats (10.8g compared to 2.6g in butter).
- Goose Fat is also rich in Oleic acid C18.1 (a specific type of monounsaturated fatty acid) which can lower blood cholesterol levels. Goose Fat contains on average 58% oleic acid, C18.1, and is generally higher in comparison to other animal fats.
Confit is an old-timey way to preserve meat without smoking, freezing or curing. It’s basically meat, slow cooked in fat, and then you preserve the confit-ed meat suspended in that fat. Confit is a delicious condiment, you simply fork out some shreds of the meat and fry it – the crunchy and super rich, savory flavor goes well in so many recipe ideas! We put it in homemade ramen bowls, as part of a ravioli filling, or just served on top of a salad of bitter greens.
To prepare confit, we followed Hugh’s recipe in his book “The River Cottage.” You massage salt and herbs into the legs and let air dry in the fridge. 2 days later, sear the legs in a hot pan, then slow cook them in goose fat for a couple hours, until nearly falling off the bone. Cool and then place the seared legs in a jar and cover with more fat. Refrigerated, confit will keep for months, if you can keep your hands off of it long enough!
On Dec 14th Saturday from 11-3, we’ll be selling our delicious homemade apple syrup and honey applesauce, unique honey spice pickled beets, pickled peppers, green hot sauce, homemade Sriracha and Sauerkraut, pickled green beans, and heirloom tomato sauce at the Lake Country Land School’s Holiday Fair. The “Land School” is a beautiful rural farm-based campus of the Minneapolis Montessori School. The junior high students will be there selling their handmade crafts and goods, experimenting with their entrepreneurial side. Everything there will be local & good to support with your purchase, plus great to give as gifts! Come early for first pick and the best selection. We appreciate your purchases as they will help us get through the long winter!
The Land School is located at:
N13183 30th St. Glenwood City, WI 54013
Beware of using GPS and some mapping sites! The best directions can be found at www.lakecountryschool.org. Or, call us at the Land School: 715-265-7770.
We hope to see you on the 14th!