Published 17 October 2013
Yorkshire goose producer Stuart Mathison and country hotel Beverley Tickton Grange showed this week how to expand the market for goose by getting more chefs to put it on the autumn menu.
The Mathison family, who hosted the British Goose Producers’ annual farm walk at Leven, near Beverley, produce 1500 geese a year with one third going into the catering market during the autumn ahead of the main demand at Christmas.
And at one of their customers, the nearby Tickton Grange Hotel, well known local chef David Nowell spoke about the new approaches to cooking and serving goose that would appeal to restaurants and caterers — and then served BGP members luncheon based on goose.
“Goose is a fantastic product and the challenge for the restaurant is to make it affordable,” said Mr Nowell, food and beverage executive of Tickton Grange, who played a prominent role in the Beverley Food Festival earlier this month.
He said that cooking goose in a water bath avoided the shrinkage that happened with roasting and with new, more adventurous recipes a goose would typically serve 12 rather than six diners and so achieve a margin that would be attractive to more chefs.
He then served a buffet lunch featuring two such dishes — a roulade of Mathisons’ goose breast with a mousseline of goose liver, thyme, hazelnut and cranberries and a confit made from goose legs with port reduction and allspice, fried in sage crumb.
John Franklin, BGP chairman, said new recipes had been developed through working over the past year with the City College Norwich which has one of the top regional hotel schools. Students and lecturers at the college had developed a range of recipes using both meat and eggs from the goose, and he urged members to forge links with their local colleges to enthuse the chefs of tomorrow in seeing the potential of goose as a seasonal dish during the autumn.
On the Mathisons’ Southfield Farm at Leven members saw not only the geese grazing in the field but also the duck rearing enterprise which supplies local hotels, restaurants, butchers and caterers through the year.
Stuart and his brother Malcolm are currently buying 650 day-old ducklings every fortnight and they are seeking a Food Standards Agency licence to increase production next year. The duck sales have been expanded by introducing portion-controlled products and now goose livers, goose fat and smoked breasts are also sold under the ‘Yorkshire ducks and geese’ brand.
The farm also has an extensive grain storage business which makes locally grown wheat available on site for feeding the poultry.