Canada Goose Paprikash & Spaetzle

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**this recipe was originally posted on www.GetOutAndGoHunting.com on March 24, 2020**

Canada goose unfairly gets negative press as table fare, and while it may not be as revered as its cousin the specklebelly or the much-lauded sandhill crane, it is a versatile and flavorful gamebird.  Many of our Canada goose hunts, particularly in the early season, are high-volume, high-opportunity scenarios and many of the birds end up in snack sticks and pepperettes, but I’m often more than happy to take my share out of the grind pile and bring it home to experiment with.

This dish is a great way to use skinned early-season Canada goose breasts, which can be notoriously lean and tough if prepared incorrectly. This is pure comfort food, and a low and slow cooking method, coupled with a rich sauce poured over buttery spaetzle (with a crisp European pilsner on the side) makes a memorable meal that has quickly become a fall and winter staple in my home.

Serving Size: 4-6

Time to make: 2-3 hours

Special Equipment: Stove top, dutch oven/stock pot

Also works with: any geese, duck, or sandhill crane

Beer/Wine Pairing:  Lager or Malbec Wine

Ingredients

For the paprikash:

3 medium sized Canada goose breasts, chopped into rough cubes

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 large onion, minced

3 large garlic cloves, crushed

2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

4 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tsp caraway seeds

1 can tomato paste (156ml)

1 can of diced tomatoes (796ml)

½ cup red wine

½ cup chicken stock

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

For the spaetzle:

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 eggs

½ cup of water

2tsp kosher salt

2tsp butter

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Preparation:

Canada Goose Paprikash

  1. Heat 1tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven or heavy stock pot.
  2. Add the goose meat, browning it on all sides in batches, ensuring not to overcrowd the pot. Set aside the browned meat.
  3. In the same pot, add the remaining oil and heat the onions and peppers until they are softened, but still slightly crisp.
  4. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, stirring it until it starts to soften, then re-add the meat.
  5. Add the can of tomato paste and stir the meat and vegetables together until they are all coated.
  6. Add all of the paprika and the caraway seeds, and again stir until everything is coated.
  7. Pour in the can of diced tomatoes, as well as the wine and stock. Depending on the size of your pot, the goose and vegetables should be just barely covered, but if not, add a little stock or red wine.
  8. Cover and simmer over low heat for at least two hours, or until the goose meat pulls apart easily with two forks.

Spaetzle

  1. In a mixing bowl, stir the flour and salt together, then make a little well in the center.
  2. Beat the eggs with a fork and add pour them into the well, along with some of the water.
  3. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, stir this until a thick, stretchy batter begins to form. Add some, or all of the rest of the water if it is too dry.
  4. Heat four cups of salted water to just below a boil.
  5. Stir for five minutes until it begins to look stretchy, then put it into a large, sturdy, zip-top plastic bag.
  6. Snip one corner of the bag, leaving a hole roughly the size of a pinky finger.
  7. Squeeze the dough through the hole in the plastic bag slowly, snipping off noodles about an inch long.
  8. When the noodles float and are firm to the touch, remove them to a colander and let them drain.
  9. Heat the butter over medium heat until it melts completely and foams.
  10. Add the spaetzle to the butter, tossing for two or three minutes until they are coated.
  11. Remove to a plate and pour over a few heaping scoops of the goose and sauce.

Shawn West

I grew up in a family of anglers and hunters, and time spent in the Ontario outdoors with my father, siblings, uncles, cousins, and friends figured large in shaping who I am now. The most valuable lesson of the outdoors that I learned as a youth was that nothing took more importance than respecting the life of the animal that you had just hunted.

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