Michaelmas Goose with Traditional Potato and Apple Stuffing
For the Stuffing:
Boil the potatoes 'in their jackets' in boiling salted water until cooked. Peel and mash.
Melt the butter and sweat the onions in a covered saucepan on a gentle heat for about 5 minutes. Add the apples and cook until they break down into a fluff, then stir in the mashed potatoes and herbs. Season the stuffing with salt and pepper to taste. Allow it to get quite cold before stuffing the goose.
For the Goose:
Remove the wishbone for ease of carving. Put the wishbone into a saucepan with the giblets, onion, carrot, bouquet garni and peppercorns. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 2 hours. (Add the wing tips to the stock if desired.)
Season the cavity of the goose with salt and freshly ground pepper and fill with the cold stuffing. Sprinkle some sea salt over the breast and rub it into the goose skin. Roast for 2 to 2 ½ hours in a preheated moderate oven, 350ºF.
Take the roasting pan from the oven three or four times during the cooking and pour off the excess fat. (Store this fat in your refrigerator—it keeps for months and is wonderful for roasting or sautéeing potatoes.) To test whether the goose is cooked, prick the thigh at the thickest part. The juices which run out should be clear; if they are pink the goose needs a little longer. When cooked, remove the goose to a large serving dish and put it into a low oven while you make the gravy.
For the Gravy:
Pour or spoon off the remainder of the fat and save. Add about 2 cups of the strained giblet stock to the roasting pan and bring to a boil. Using a small whisk, scrape the pan well to dissolve the meaty deposits which are full of flavor. Taste for seasoning and thicken with a little roux if you like thickened gravy. If the gravy is weak, boil for a few minutes to concentrate the flavor; if too strong add a little water or stock. Strain and serve in a hot gravy boat.
Carve the goose. Serve with apple sauce and the gravy.
For the Apple Sauce
Peel, quarter and core the apples, cut the pieces into two an put in a stainless steel or cast iron saucepan, with sugar and water. Cover and put over a low heat. As soon as the apples have broken down, stir and taste for sweetness. Serve warm.