Recipe: Slow and Spicy

Slow and Spicy
Canada Goose Enchiladas
by: Scott Leysath – The Sporting Chef

I do enjoy a good Canada goose hunt.  The thrill of coaxing in a flock of these giant birds to within twenty yards of your goose pit is an exhilarating way to spend a cold weather morning.  If you’ve heard or felt the thud of a 20 pound giant Canada goose falling on or near you, there’s no doubt that these are the big dogs of the goose pond.
Dragging out a strap loaded with honkers is a great cardio workout, but what to do when you get them cleaned and ready to cook?  There are those folks who still stuff whole body geese with all sorts of things under the delusion that the stuffing will add flavor to the cooked birds.  I strongly disagree with the stuffing part, but I do occasionally roast a whole or split bird.  When roasting, my goal is to create something similar to a pot roast – moist and fall-apart tender.  Once cooked, the slow-cooked meat can be used for a variety of dishes like tacos, barbecued goose sandwiches (topped with coleslaw, of course!), sloppy Joe’s and spaghetti sauce.  You can set aside an afternoon and slow-roast several Canada geese, shred and cool the meat and then freeze in batches for later use.  It’ll sure free up some freezer space.
There’s an easy way to transform your often tough and chewy honker meat into something reminiscent of braised beef rather than liver jerky.  If you just dry roast your bird in the oven until the breast meat is medium-rare, the legs are still tough and sinewy.  Cooking it until well-done will reward you with 100% gray meat that’s dry, muttony and chewy.  So here’s the deal; we’re going to braise the bird.  Braising is simply browning the meat before slow-cooking in a little liquid while covered with a tight fitting lid.  The low temperature and liquid will eventually break down the meat into tender morsels.  Even the toughest cuts of any meat will eventually yield to braising and fall apart so that you can cut it with a spoon.
Split the goose in half along the breastbone and rub liberally with salt, pepper and any other seasonings that will add flavor to the bird.  Place in a well-oiled roasting pan with some rough chopped celery, carrots and onions.  Place uncovered in a preheated 450 degree oven for 1 to 1 ½ hours, turning occasionally to evenly brown the meat and vegetables.  Add beer, wine, beef or chicken broth to the pan, about an inch or so, cover the pan snugly with heavy-duty foil or six layers of the cheap foil you thought was a better deal.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and braise for 2 – 3 hours, checking every hour or so to add more liquid and test for doneness.  If the meat doesn’t fall apart easily, keep cooking.  Once done, allow the meat to cool and remove from the carcass.  You’ve now turned a 15 pound honker into a couple of pounds of very edible meat.  

Canada Goose Enchiladas

4 servings
2  cups cooked shredded goose meat
2  cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
2  cups green chile sauce  (or your enchilada sauce)
1  tablespoon lime juiceTheSportingChef--element89
1/3  cup yellow onion, minced
2  garlic cloves, minced
1  jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2  tablespoons cilantro, minced
pinch or two  ground cumin
½  teaspoon salt
pan spray
4  large corn or flour tortillas
large pitted olives, halved
In a bowl, combine goose meat, 1 cup Monterey jack cheese cheese, 1 cup green chile sauce, lime juice, onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, cumin and salt.  Toss ingredients together.  Coat a 6 by 9-inch baking dish with pan spray.  Spread the remaining chile sauce on the bottom of the dish.  Spray each tortilla lightly on both sides with pan spray and heat on high a microwave for 30 seconds.  Place an equal portion of the mix into the center of each tortilla.  Roll up and place in the dish, seam side down.  Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese and place a few black olive on top of each enchilada.  Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven until cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  If desired, top with diced tomato, salsa or sour cream.

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