Our traditional Martinigansl (St. Martin’s Day goose) tastes particularly good in November but also, of course, on all other days of the year, too. With its delicious stuffing and side dishes, it is a truly delectable feast. A little time and attention are needed in the preparation but it’s well worth the effort!
For the stuffing:
- 100 g onions (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp parsley (finely chopped)
- 120 g butter
- 350 g bread (or stale toast, diced)
- 200 ml milk (depending on hardness of bread)
- 4-6 eggs
- 1 pinch nutmeg (freshly grated)
- 1 goose
- soup or water (for spooning over)
- starch (as required)
Directions for Martinigansl
- To make the stuffing, finely chop onions and parsley, sautée in hot butter and sprinkle over diced bread. Whisk milk and eggs and seasoning and mix with bread.
- Thoroughly wash the inside and outside of the goose and pat dry with kitchen paper. Season inside and outside with salt, pepper and marjoram and fill with the dumpling mixture. Close the opening with string or thread.
- Chop the wings and neck into small pieces. Fill a frying pan with water so it is approx. 1 cm deep and add the wing and neck pieces to this as well as the goose with the breast side facing downwards.
- Place in a pre-heated oven at 165-175 °C/ 325-350 °Fand roast for approx. 3 hours. After the first 40 minutes, turn the goose and spoon juices over during roasting. Add a little extra water or soup if necessary.
- About half way through cooking, pierce the meat several times. Around 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, spoon off the fat and place to one side for the red cabbage, later on. Now increase the heat to 190-200 °C/ 375-400 °F to ensure the goose browns nicely.
- The goose is fully cooked if the leg meat is soft when pressed. Remove from the pan and keep warm. If the goose isn’t sufficiently crispy, place on a rack – instead of in a warm place – with a dripping tray underneath and roast the skin again at 220 °C/ 425 °F until crispy.
- Meanwhile, loosen the roasting residue with a little soup, bring to the boil and thicken with a little starch if necessary. Season the juice well and strain with a sieve.
- Last but not least, halve the goose lengthways, remove the stuffing in one piece, if possible, and cut into slices. Carve into portions and arrange on plates with the stuffing and gravy.
If you are cooking the Martinigansl without stuffing, it will cook quicker and become more tender if you place a clean mineral water bottle into the cavity with the neck facing forwards.
Duck, goose and chicken were originally regarded as Herrenspeise (food for the upper classes) and on St. Martin’s Day on 11.11., the farmers had to deliver their young geese to the ruling classes. The tradition of the Martinigansl meal on this day originated from the fact that the aristocracy rarely delayed the eating of the fresh meat. The Burgenland was the largest goose grazing pasture area of the former Danube monarchy and poultry was held in high regard as it could feed a whole family. According to legend, Martin of Tours hid in a goose barn to escape consecration but the cackling of the geese gave away his hiding place. On 11 November 1925 the people of the Burgenland celebrated their first “Martini”, the festival of their state patron, and since then this holiday has always been marked with a “Ganslessen” (roast goose dinner).