Matt Tebbutt's Christmas goose recipe will be the star of Christmas Day.
• Fresh geese are only available in season - from Michaelmas at the end of September through to Christmas. Meanwhile, you can still enjoy the delights of cooking with goose fat and as spring beckons the first goose eggs will be on the market in time for Easter
• Fresh free-range geese are available direct from the farmgate or from a high class butcher or poulterer, and from some food halls and supermarkets. They are also sold increasingly through mail order and the internet
• Fresh geese can be bought from September to December. They should be ordered well in advance for Christmas.
• Geese are sold oven-ready, which includes the weight of the giblets. Oven-ready weights range from 4.3kg/9.5lb to 6.35kg/14lb and long-legged from 5.40kg/12lb to 9kg/20lb. Allow approximately 1lb-1.5lb per person.
• At home remove the giblets and store them, and the goose, separately in the refrigerator. Check the weight of the giblets and fat before stuffing the goose. This will give the correct weight and you can work out how much cooking time
1. Prepare as many of your vegetables in advance as you can. On the day, simply reheat in the microwave. This will free up space on your cooker.
2. When it comes to the turkey, don’t stress about the timings to have it cooked at exactly the time you want to eat. It benefits from at least one hour’s rest
3. Don’t be afraid to ask other family members to help. Give them all the jobs you don’t want to do; after all, there is no such thing as a free lunch, even at Christmas.
4. Lay your table on Christmas Eve. This should be your last job before bed. You will be so pleased in the morning that it’s already done.
5. Don’t panic. Your family are there to have a lovely time, not to award Michelin stars. And don’t drink too much before they arrive.
6. If you have cooked, under no circumstances should you do the washing up.
7. Prepare a Bloody Mary mix for Boxing Day. When you wake up, simply add vodka and use it to wash down a good English breakfast.
8. Lock the door securely when your guests have all gone and disconnect your phone. Let the dog out. Sleep well. And, most of all, have a merry Christmas.