Celebrate St Martin’s Day – Like a Swede

It's November and if you are a Swede, it's time to celebrate St Martin’s day (Mårten Gås). The tradition is especially strong in the area of Skåne in southern Sweden. This is the region where Granuldisk’s HQ is situated why we want to take the opportunity to spread some good Swedish dinner traditions. Wanna join? Then buy a goose and make sure your family is ready for a real Swedish feast dinner!

St Martin’s Day, or Mårten Gås in Swedish, is traditionally celebrated 10th of November, but nowadays it is also often celebrated on a weekend when there is more time for cooking and enjoying a long late dinner. A lot of people also visit a local restaurant for a real traditional food experience.

Image And Text 840X840 MårtenGås

The classic menu

Appetizer: A bowl of sweet and sour black soup (Svartsoppa). It is made of goose broth and goose blood and richly seasoned with fruit purees, spirits and spices such as clove and ginger.
Dinner: Time for the main event: the goose! It is stuffed with apples and prunes and roasted slowly and constantly drizzled in its own fat. The remains are then boiled in water and thickened into a sauce. Some of the fat from the goose is then used to cook the side dishes: red cabbage, roasted apples, and potatoes.
Dessert: Most people finish the menu with a delicious apple pie with custard sauce.

What is St Martin's Day all about?

Like a lot of other Swedish celebrations, most people in Sweden have forgotten the origins of St Martin’s Day. It is more about bringing family and friends together, and eating a lot of good food, and less about why and the origins of the celebrations.

Anyhow, this is the background around St Martin’s Day: The saint of Martinius (later named Martin of Tours) was originally a Roman soldier from what is now Hungary. According to the legend, the city of Tours wanted to make him a bishop against his own will. So Martinius hid among the geese, but the geese cackled and exposed him. So he had to become a bishop after all. And encouragement to eating geese from that point on was Martinius way of punishing the geese. The event is said to have taken place on November 11, 371.


Olli’s Goose Dinner

The goose: 1 goose (about 3-4 kg), 6 apples, 2 dl dried prunes, 1 orange, fresh ginger, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 sprig of thyme, 1 lemon.

The sauce: 4-5 dl gravy from the goose, 1 tbsp liquid chicken broth, 1 tbsp blackcurrant jelly, 1 dl Madeira, 1 dl port wine, 1 shallot, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp Maizena (cornstarch), salt and pepper, goose fat, or olive oil. 

Red cabbage: 0.5 red cabbage head, 3 dl water, 1.5 dl honey, 2 dl red wine, 4 whole carnations, 2 cinnamon sticks, salt and pepper, goose fat, or olive oil.

Potatoes: 2-4 potatoes per serving, some goose fat, sugar, salt, and pepper

Based on 4 servings.


The goose:
1. Set the oven to 175 degrees. Cut 3 peeled apples into pieces. Brush the orange and cut it into pieces (with the peel on). Cut the ginger into slices. Mix the apple, prunes, orange, ginger, and spices. Cut off the goose wings and the fat on the gooseneck and on the back.
2. Rub the goose (both out- and inside) with the lemon. Fill the goose with the fruit mixture and sew it back together. Place the goose with the breast up on a wire rack in a pan. Salt and pepper.
3. Pour 4 dl of water into the pan and place the goose in the middle of the oven. Fry it for about 2,5-3 hours. Stick a needle in the thigh muscle to check if it is done. If the meat juice is uncolored, it's ready. Scoop diligently with the fat that forms. Pour 3 dl cold water over the goose at the end of the frying and set up the oven door with a spoon so that the steam goes out. Then the skin becomes crispy.

Goose fat:
1. Boil the fat on low heat and let it melt for about half an hour. Strain it at the end to get a clean grease

1. Strain the goose gravy 
over a saucepan and set the saucepan in the fridge so that the fat solidifies. Separate the fat from the gravy. Peel and slice the onion. Fry it in a little goose fat or oil in a saucepan. Pour in the gravy, port wine, Madeira, and chicken broth and let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes.
2. Add the jelly, remove the sauce with the cornflour stirred in a little water, and whisk in the butter. Strain the sauce over a clean saucepan to remove the onion and season with salt and pepper.

1. Peel the boiled potatoes. Brown them in the goose fat or oil until it has a beautiful golden brown color. Sprinkle with a little salt and then the sugar. Let the potatoes become a little crispy on the surface and sprinkle with a little pepper.

Red cabbage:
1. Shred the cabbage.
2. Fry in a little olive oil or goose fat. Add the honey, wine, water, and spices. Let the cabbage simmer on medium heat for about an hour or until it feels tender. You have to taste to feel if the cabbage is ready. Season with salt, pepper, and maybe a little more honey.

1. Divide the remaining unpeeled apples. Take care of the prunes that lay inside the goose or add a bag of prunes.
2. Brown the apples in a little butter or oil. Mix the plums and let them warm.

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