Life Recipes

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Winning ways for festive success


Twice cooked Christmas goose from Aisling Rock. Photo: Clare Keogh
Twice cooked Christmas goose from Aisling Rock. Photo: Clare Keogh
Aisling Rock, 21 year old Chef, at Dromoland Castle, Co. Clare. Photo: Clare Keogh
Roast Butternut Squash with Cashew & Cratloe Hills Cheese

Aisling Rock won the prestigious European Young Chef title last year. We paid her a visit at Dromoland Castle, where she works while also studying Culinary Arts at GMIT, to discover her takes on Christmas Day dining.

Roast Butternut Squash with Cashew & Cratloe Hills Cheese

Roast Butternut Squash with Cashew & Cratloe Hills Cheese

Serves 6


1 butternut squash, cut length ways into six pieces with the seeds removed

Olive oil, to drizzle

3 cloves garlic

1 sprig thyme

Sea salt & pepper

50g cashew nuts, broken

30ml balsamic vinegar

20g pickled ginger, chopped

Zest of 1 orange

50g grated Cratloe Hills cheese


1. Pre-heat the oven 1800C.

2. Place the butternut squash, skin side down, in an earthenware dish.

3. Drizzle with olive oil, add the garlic, thyme and season with the salt and pepper.

4. Place in the oven and roast for 25 mins before adding the broken cashew nuts.

5. Roast for a further 15 mins and then drain the excess olive oil into a bowl. To this bowl add the vinegar, ginger and orange zest, stir to mix and spoon over the butternut. Return to the oven and roast for approximately 10 mins. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with grated Cratloe Hills cheese.

Twice cooked Christmas goose

Twice cooked Christmas goose from Aisling Rock. Photo: Clare Keogh

Serves 6


1 x 5kg goose

250g carrots, peeled

3 sticks celery, washed

3 medium onions, peeled and halved

4 cloves garlic

3 bay leaves

1 sprig thyme

1 tsp peppercorns

2 tbsp sea salt

For the cavity of the goose:

1 orange

1 lemon

1 sprig of thyme

3 cloves

2 star anise

1 cinnamon stick For the glaze: Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon

50ml honey

1tsp allspice

50g dark brown sugar

50 ml balsamic vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard


1. Remove any feathers or quill stubs from the goose. Trim the wing tips and truss the bird with string.

2. Remove any excess fat from the bird and keep for roasting potatoes.

3. Place the goose in a very large pot and just cover with cold water, bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and remove any scum or fat from the surface.

4. Add all the remaining ingredients and continue to simmer, allowing 20 mins cooking time per kg weight of goose. Skim off the fat occasionally. When cooking time is completed remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for one hour.

5. Carefully remove the goose from the stock and drain well. Place the goose on a wire rack in a large roasting tray. The stock can be retained for soups or gravy.

For the cavity of the goose:

Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Place all the ingredients in the cavity of the goose, season the outside of the bird with sea salt and place the goose in the oven to roast.

For the glaze:

1. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and heat to dissolve together.

2. After 30 minutes of roasting the goose, brush the goose with the glaze. Repeat this every 10 mins. The goose will brown nicely and will require 90 mins total roasting time approximately. Rest for 15 mins before serving.

Irish Independent

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