Shredded Goose with Lemon

5 from 9 votes
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shredded goose recipe with lemon on the plate
Photo by Hank Shaw

If I had a dollar for everyone who told me that goose legs were inedible, I’d be able to buy a new truck. It just isn’t so, as this Spanish shredded goose recipe will show you.

Now keep in mind I am not necessarily asking you to pluck lots of geese here: This recipe works great with skinned legs from snow geese, which is what I used, or Canada geese. You really ought to pluck any specklebelly geese you get, however, and make goose confit with them.

Getting at the legs is simple. Skin the breast as you normally would, and just yank the skin back toward the vent. You’ll expose the legs. Pop them back against the ball-and-socket joint and cut them free. Easy-peasy.

Once you have them, this recipe is a breeze. Could you do it with breast meat? I guess, but the texture wouldn’t be as nice.

I am indebted once again to the late, great Penelope Casas for this recipe, which she did with lamb. You can find her version in her excellent book The Foods and Wines of SpainHers is called cochifrito, essentially potted lamb with lemon.

What this is is a “dry” stew, where the “stew” really because a sauce. You slow cook the goose legs with olive oil or duck fat, lots of garlic, lemon juice and sherry. I add slices of preserved lemon to the party, which add a lot, but aren’t essential. You can just use slices of regular lemon peel.

Served with crusty bread or rice, it is an intensely bright, meaty dish you’ll find yourself eating more of than you’d ever thought. Holly and I ate six snow goose legs in two sittings.

I make this recipe in a Dutch oven because I can monitor the amount of sauce in the pot. You could make this in a slow cooker, too, but you’ll need to check on it from time to time, just as with the stovetop version.

shredded goose recipe with lemon on the plate
5 from 9 votes

Spanish Shredded Goose with Lemon

Penelope Casas' original version of this recipe uses lamb, but any red meat will work. Try this with goose, duck, venison shoulder or neck, or hell, even light meats like turkey legs. Once made, this will keep in the fridge a week, and it can be frozen. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons duck fat or olive oil
  • 6 to 8 goose legs
  • Salt
  • 2 heads garlic, cloves peeled but whole
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 cup chicken, duck or goose broth
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 to 6 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 peel from a preserved or fresh lemon, sliced thin

Instructions 

  • Heat the duck fat in a Dutch oven over medium high heat and brown the goose legs. Salt them as they cook. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients except for the black pepper, green onions and preserved lemon, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook over very low heat until the meat wants to fall off the bones of the geese, about 2 1/2 hours. Keep an eye on it, and add more broth if needed
  • When the meat is ready, fish it out and strip it off the bones. Return the meat to the pot and add the black pepper and preserved lemon. Cook the sauce down until it thickens a bit.
  • Serve garnished with the green onions alongside bread or rice. 

Notes

Good ingredients matter. It makes a big difference if you use good garlic, fresh lemon juice, good olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. The sherry matters, too. Use something you'd drink. 

Nutrition

Calories: 716kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 71g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 295mg | Sodium: 300mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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18 Comments

  1. Hey man, i have about 40 mixed legs (mostly snows) from a big week in alberta. Do you think its advisable to scale this recipe up to that level with the intent to strip the meat and then pressure can it for individual servings (250 or 500ml jars)? Anything I should watch out for? Thanks

  2. Very simple ingredients and a lot of flavour. I saw this recipe when I started looking over ideas when hunter-spouse said he booked a guided waterfowl hunt and was sad b/c I didn’t have preserved lemon. Then noticed a local restaurant selling preserved lemons and bought right away. Canada and snow geese legs needed 3.5 hours to tenderize in slow cooker for me.

  3. Hi Hank, could Goose legs be cooked in a pressure cooker (Instant Pot style) and obtain the same result (tender), or is low and slow the ONLY way to achieve this?

    1. Shawn: Yes, you can use a pressure cooker to get them tender. I don’t have one, so I do it the old fashioned way!

  4. This is by far my favorite recipe on this whole site.
    I can’t get leftovers.

    I think I’m going to try it with whitetail shanks.

  5. Works fantastic with venison haunch and the presevered lemon is a must. Killer with a simple pilaf and salad. Cheers hank

  6. Works well for pheasant legs too. Just be sure and shred the lower legs well to get rid of all those bayonet-like tendons.

  7. Looks great, Hank! I’ve got half a dozen goose legs in the freezer. I was going to do a brown and braise with chili powder and cumin for street tacos, but this one looks like a great recipe.

  8. Madness, I say.!!!! The legs are the best part on a goose! I always tell people, if they must throw away meat from their geese, toss the breasts, lol. Then I give them a sample of my spickgans or pastrami, and no one’s gonna be tossing that either haha! But goose legs are just like pork shoulder if you ask me. Just gotta cook it as such: low and slow. Done right they are pretty versatile. Will definitely be giving this a try.

  9. I’ve never been able to leave legs on a goose. No matter how many people tell me it’s not worth it, I can’t bring myself to waste them.
    I’ve tried a few things that ended up being unchewable meat lollipops that the cat was still working at long after I’d given up.
    This recipe changed everything. An hour and a half into it, I was cursing as the meat contracted into it’s usual ball of wet jerky, but I pressed on, and closer to the end of the stated cooking time all the meat fell off the bone and was easily shredded.
    I overdid the lemon a bit, but the flavour and texture was outstanding. This will be my go to goose leg recipe for the foreseeable future.

  10. We do something simi!ar with snow goose legs here in NoDak, but instead of a dutch oven I use a pressure cooker to initially cook the legs, then shred the meat off the bones. Tossed in a skillet it can be sauced however I want. 🙂

    1. Hi Jennifer, how long do you pressure cook the goose legs? Do you ensure they are almost entirely covered with liquid during the cooking process?