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Poor Man's Goose

Pot Meals

There are a considerable number of dishes given the name Poor Man's Goose, most consisting of a layered dish which is then baked, including Hampshire Goose, or as a synonym for a species of Faggots. It occurs, under various guises, as a tasty and inexpensive dish in 19th Century cookery school plans. The leading cook Tom Brown even prepared a rather exotic version using duck liver and shallots for a 2018 BBC cookery competition.

The Official Handbook for the National Training School for Cookery, 1877

For similar dishes, see 'Mock Goose'

Our correspondent Alan Young sends us (2018) a version made by his grandmother; "which we assume was made with rationed ingredients during the war. It consists of
1 lb of sausage meat
Tin of carrots
Enough sage and onion stuffing to cover the carrots
4 or 5 large potatoes for mash"

Benjamin Gregory's Autobiography of 1903 has; "Our daintiest viand was an elaborate composition called "medley-pie," or "poor man's goose," consisting mainly of alternate layers of bacon and of apple, with cunningly compounded savoury herbs"

Original Receipt from the School Board for London's 'Handbook of household management and cookery' (1894)

Poor Man's Goose. Wash a pig's fry and dry it well in a cloth, cut the liver and heart into slices; flour it and lay it in a baking dish, season it with pepper, salt, and a teaspoonful of chopped sage leaves, and one onion chopped fine, pour in a gill of water, cover it with the caul, and bake three-quarters of an hour in a moderate oven.

Original Receipt from 'Nelson's Handbook of Practical Cookery' (1886)

Poor Man's Goose. One pound liver, one quarter pound bacon, one half table-spoonful salt, one half tea-spoonful pepper, two pounds potatoes, one large onion, one half pint cold water.

Soak the onion over night in a small basin of boiling water. Take it out of the water, and slice it. Place the potatoes in a pan, cover them with cold water, and allow the water to boil. Cut the liver in thin slices, and put them in a basin of cold water. Remove the skin from the bacon, and slice it also. Take the potatoes from the boiling water and slice them. Place now in a Yorkshire pudding-tin a layer of potatoes, then a layer of the liver, then a little of the onion, a little pepper and salt, then a little of the bacon. Continue to do this until all those ingredients are used up. Place over the top a last layer of potatoes. Pour in the water at the side. Place the tin in a hot oven, and bake one hour and a half.

The original source of this receipt isn't known. Can you help? editor@foodsofengland.co.uk

Heart, liver, kidneys, sweetbread.
Chopped onion
Chopped sage
Salt and pepper

Parboil the potatoes in their skins, peel and slice. Cut the meat into small pieces. Grease a pie dish, and place a layer of potatoes on the bottom of it with a little of the onion and sage. Then add a layer of the meat mixture. Alternate the layers until the pie dish is full using the potatoes for the final layer. Fill the pie dish up to the last inch with water and placed oiled greaseproof paper on top of the layer of potatoes. Bake in a medium oven for of an hour.

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