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Honey Mead-Brined Canada Goose with Cabbage, Currants, and Brûléed Pears

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards; Styling: Rachael Burrow, Linda Hirst

Hands-on time 1 hr, 30 mins
Total time 10 hrs, 10 mins

Makes 4 servings

An elegant dinner of mead-brined goose breast with cabbage and brûléed pears is guaranteed to impress holiday guests.


  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 cups honey mead, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 (8- to 10-ounce) goose breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sautéed Cabbage & Currants
  • Brûléed Pears

How to Make It

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients, 2 cups honey mead, and 2 tablespoons salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, and let cool to room temperature. Add goose breasts to marinade, cover, and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 375°. Drain goose and pat dry with paper towels; discard marinade. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add goose breasts, skin sides down, and cook about 6 minutes or until skin is deep golden brown and fat has rendered. Flip goose; cook 1 more minute. Transfer skillet to oven, and roast 10 minutes or until goose is cooked through.

  3. Meanwhile, cook remaining 4 cups honey mead in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat about 15 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup. Stir in butter, chopped thyme, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spoon sauce over cooked goose, and serve with Sautéed Cabbage & Currants and Brûléed Pears.