Every year for Christmas dinner, we make a traditional Jewish feast. Though we are not Jewish, I think it turns out pretty authentic. It consists of braised brisket, smoked goose, a noodle kugel, a vegetable side (this year was Parmesan-crusted baked green beans) and a rugelach for dessert. It's truly amazing and we always take our time eating so we can savor every single, beautiful bite. For the sake of this blog post, I am going to offer you the Christmas-inspired brine recipe I used on the goose prior to The Hubster smoking it. It made for the juciest and most-moist goose EVER. Shepen naches!
CHRISTMAS GOOSE BRINE
6 quarts cold water
One 12-ounce bottle amber beer, preferably Christmas blend, room temperature
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 pkg poultry seasoning (fresh thyme, rosemary and sage)
1 pkg star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup pumpkin pie spice
In a large pot, bring 1 quart of water to a boil over high heat. Add the beer, salt, sugar, fresh herbs and spices. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot brine into a container large enough to hold the turkey (I use a clean and sanitized igloo cooler) and add the remaining quarts of cold water to cool the brine. Place the turkey into the brine, making sure it is entirely submerged. Cover the container tightly with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. When you're ready to cook (or smoke) the goose, remove from the brine and pat dry with paper towel.