Goose Charcuterie

“What do you do with all those geese?”

I get this question quite often after relaying tales of 3 or 5 man limits.  The Canada Goose is a bird that can be hard to harvest and a bird even more difficult to prepare.  Unlike a pin-tail, a teal, a mallard or a Speckled-belly goose I’ve not found success searing a goose breast.  The first goose I ever took ended up plucked and roasted for Christmas.

First Goose

My first two geese. A lucky double.

I actually used an electric razor to remove the pin feathers on that bird.  Shaving the bird proved to be easier than eating it.  Since that day I like to think that my culinary skills vis-a-vis the Canada Goose have grown by leaps and bounds.  For example, I no longer shave game birds.

It turns out that Canada Geese lend themselves well to charcuterie.  I’ve turned goose into sausage, pastrami, prosciutto, spickgans, and jerky.  Goose responds well to curing and smoking.

Spickgans – German Smoked Goose Breast

I owe most of my Canada Goose Charcuterie knowledge to Hank Shaw.  I stumbled onto Hanks website a few years ago while planning a Thanksgiving Day feast.  I emailed Hank with a few questions and he responded quickly.  Hank has forgotten more about cooking wild game than I’ll likely ever know.  We are blessed that graciously shares what he has learned.

I learned from Hank’s website how cure and smoke meat.  As an avid goose hunter I was happy to see all of the goose recipes.  Last year Hank posted a recipe for Goose Pastrami.  If you have a smoker and room in a refrigerator to cure the breasts this is an easy recipe that packs a big flavor punch.

Canada Goose Pastrami

Canada Goose Pastrami

I sliced the pastrami thin and ate it on Triscuits with Swiss Cheese and a little Dijon.  Yellowstone Hunt Club President Rick Cope uses his goose pastrami in Reuben sandwiches.  I had female co-workers at the bank try the pastrami.  They loved it and were astounded when I told them that it was goose.

So what should you do the next time your hunting adventure provides you a bounty you don’t understand how to prepare?  Your first thought should be to join the Yellowstone Hunt Club.  Our members have most likely encountered and conquered the challenge you now face, and just might be able to put you in touch with some of the most knowledgeable people in the country.

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