Ludaskása

In autumn and winter we often eat goose, which is an excellent source of protein, iron, vitamin B2 and B6. Ludaskása is one of the most popular goose recipes in Hungary because it uses less trendy parts of this wonderful animal.

Goose meat is not to everyone’s taste. It’s darker and fuller bodied, and it also has a stronger flavour than the chicken breast so common in many diet. Cooked properly, however, it can be a rich, flavorful meat.

The first ludaskása recipes appeared in Hungarian cookbooks at the end of the 19th century. Its preparation hasn’t changed much during the last 150 years; we make a goose soup with vegetables, then we combine the cooked meat and veggies are with rice.

Letting any part of an animal go to waste was not an option in the old times, so ludaskása was created to utilize giblets and bone-in cuts of a goose. Traditionally, the recipe calls for goose neck, back, wings, heart and gizzard, but it also works with boneless cuts.

This time I chose the latter since I found frozen, boneless goose meat chunks in a small shop and I used them for making ludaskása. It turned out great, and moreover I saved the effort of removing the meat from the bone.

Ludaskása
Ludaskása – photo: zserbo.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg (~2 1/4 lbs) goose meat (bone in or boneless – it’s up to you)
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 medium parsley roots
  • 80 g (~2 3/4 oz) celeriac
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • salt to taste
  • 8-10 black peppercorns
  • 1-2 lovage sprigs
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp goose fat
  • 250 g (~1 1/4 cups) rice
  • 150 g (~1/3 lb) mushrooms, sliced
  • 150 g (~1/3 lb) green peas
  • a small bunch of parsley leaves, finely chopped

Clean and wash the meat, cut into parts if necessary. Place them in a big pot and cover with approximately 1,5-1,7 l (~6-7 cups) of cold water. Over high heat bring it to a boil.

Meanwhile peel and wash carrots, parsley roots, celeriac, garlic and onion. Cut the root vegetables into chunks.

When the soup is about to boil, start skimming off the scum. Keep the liquid at a simmer rather than a hard boil because it will mix up the scum. Once the liquid is clean, add the root vegetables, whole onion and garlic cloves, salt and black peppercorns, lovage (I put the sprigs in a tea ball), marjoram and nutmeg to the soup. Slowly simmer until the meat is completely tender and falls off the bone. (Liquid evaporates during cooking, so don’t forget to add more water as needed.)

While soup is cooking, rinse the rice and let it dry in a sieve.

When the soup is done, remove meat and vegetables, discard lovage sprigs, onion and garlic cloves. Strain the soup through a sieve – goose stock isn’t as crystal-clean as chicken broth; this soup is opaque and murky, however it serves the purpose perfectly.

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 392°F. Measure out 3 3/4 cups of hot stock and set aside.

In a separate pot heat up goose fat, add rice and toast until it starts to look slightly toasted and smells fragrant and nutty. Add sliced mushrooms and green peas, give it a stir, then pour in the prepared hot goose stock (3 3/4 cups). Place the pot (uncovered) in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until rice is tender and soaks up all the liquid.

Meanwhile dice cooked carrots, parsley roots and celeriac. Remove meat from the bone and shred it. Once rice is soft, remove it from the oven. Add meat, vegetables and finely chopped parsley leaves and stir together. Adjust salt and pepper.

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