🇩🇪 Germany: Traditioneller Gänsebraten

This traditional German roast goose is a lengthy endeavor, but well worth the effort for those up to the task!

“Season’s Greetings! What would Christmas be without a roast goose?! Not only in my home state of Lower Saxony is this culinary delight traditionally part of the Christmas feast, but it is also highly popular in other states of Germany and abroad. After the children are bestowed with gifts on Christmas Eve, the joyous anticipation builds for the lovingly prepared roast goose, whose delicious aroma wafts through the festively decorated rooms of many families long before noon. In Germany, this culinary specialty is enjoyed with family on both December 25 and 26. It is my great pleasure to share this recipe with you and wish everyone Happy Holidays!”

-Andreas Michaelis, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany
For the full experience, play this traditional tune while prepping the recipe!

🇩🇪 Germany: Traditioneller Gänsebraten—Traditional German Roast Goose

Servings 10
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 pound pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 goose approximately 9 lbs
  • 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 pound shallots sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 3 tablespoons dried rye breadcrumbs or another dark bread
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup cherry juice
  • 2 tablespoons lingonberry jam
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  • Soak the prunes in the brandy. Clean goose, pat dry, then season inside and out with salt and pepper.
  • Peel, quarter, core, and dice the apples. Lightly sauté the sliced shallots in butter for two minutes. Add the diced apples along with the dried marjoram, salt, and pepper and sauté for another 3 minutes. Combine the mixture with the soaked prunes and stir in the breadcrumbs and chopped walnuts. Stuff the cavity of the goose with the mixture.
  • Close the cavity using bamboo skewers and kitchen string. Place the goose in a roasting pan and add 3 cups of water. Place in a preheated oven at 400°F for approximately 15 minutes, then remove and puncture the legs and thighs with a skewer to release the fat while roasting. Reduce the heat to 350°F and place the bird back in the oven for 3 hours, basting it every 15 minutes.
  • To make the gravy, skim the fat from the juices in the pan, add the cherry juice and lingonberry jam, and bring to a boil. Mix the cornstarch with the cream and slowly pour into the juices to thicken the gravy. Serve with braised red cabbage and potato dumplings.

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