Stuffed Martin's Goose

Stuffed Martin’s Goose – Martinsgansessen

Stuffed Martin’s Goose

Stuffed Martin’s Goose is called gefuellte Martinsgans in Germany. A traditional meal for St. Martin’s Day.

Ingredients for stuffed Martin’s goose:

  • 1 young goose about 4.5 kg (10 lbs)
  • 1 large onion
  • 80 g (2.8 oz) of diced celery knob
  • 2 stems of cut leeks
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 1.5 l (50 oz) of water
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Ingredients for filling:


  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 apples (McIntosh) diced
  • ½ pomegranate
  • 250 g (8.8 oz) of dried prunes
  • 1 large baguette roll (1-day old) diced
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of fresh chopped marjoram
  • 3 heaping teaspoons of fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 extra large egg
  • salt
  • pepper

Ingredients for gravy:

  • 250 ml (8.4 oz) of water
  • 2 tablespoons of Cognac
  • 3 tablespoons of apple sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of corn starch

Three things you need to know while making your stuffed Martin’s goose

1. Before you start roasting your goose in the oven, make some holes with toothpicks (in the places in the picture below,) so that the fat can run out. You need to repeat this, from time to time, during the cooking process.

Preparing Stuffed Martin's Goose

2. Be sure to baste your goose on top from time to time, though that it won’t dry out.

3. A goose has a lot of fat. Make sure to scoop out the fat with a ladle. Don’t throw away the fat. It will harden in the refrigerator and you can use it for cooking. Or, spread it on a piece of fresh bread—seasoned with some salt and pepper.

Preparation for stuffing:

Cover the prunes with water and let them soak for about an hour. Take them out, dry with a paper towel, and dice. Dice the apples and onions. Remove and save the seeds from the pomegranate. Cut the bread in small pieces. Chop the marjoram and parsley.

Heat up the oil in a big pan and saute the diced onions and they are transparent. (If you like, you can now add the diced goose liver and heart to it). Add the fruits and stir it with a cooking spoon for about 3–5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let it cool down.

Add the marjoram, parsley, egg, salt, and pepper to it and mix.

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Preparation of the goose:

Take out the giblets (which are usually inside the goose wrapped in paper). Wash the goose under running water—both inside and out. Dry with a paper towel. Rub the goose with salt, pepper, and marjoram. Fill the goose with the stuffing and sew the back and the front of the goose with a darning needle using a cotton thread. Bind the wings close to the body, otherwise, they will burn.

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Place your goose with the breast down in a roasting pan and add the water. Cut celery, leaks, carrots, and onions and spread it in your pan. Add salt and pepper.

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Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). When ready, place the covered pan on the first rack of your oven.

Cook for 1 ½ hours. Turn the goose over after the first 45 minutes.

After 1 ½ hours cooking time, turn the heat up to 200°C  (400°F) and turn the goose over once more with breast side down. Let it cook covered for another hour.

After the stuffed Martin’s goose has been cooking for 2 ½ hours, turn up the heat to 225°C (425°F) and roast the goose uncovered for another 30 minutes—turning the goose over after 15 minutes.

Finishing of the gravy for the stuffed Martin’s goose:

After the stuffed Martin’s goose has been cooked, set it on plate. Let it cool down a little and cut. Pass the vegetables through a sieve and add 250 ml (8.4 oz) of water to it. In a pot, bring it to a boil. Add cognac and applesauce and stir with a whisk. Dissolve the corn starch with 4 tablespoons of water and, while constantly stirring, add it to the gravy until you have reached your desired consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. You are all DONE.  Offer your goose with Oma’s red cabbage and the yeast dumplings and enjoy your Martinsgansessen.

Serving Stuffed Martin's Goose








St. Martin's Day Tradition

Shining a light on the meaning of St. Martin’s Day Tradition in Germany with lanterns and more!

St. Martin’s Day Tradition!

St. Martin of Tours was a soldier in the roman army. One winter, he was riding on his horse and saw a beggar freezing on the side of the street. Martin took off his coat and divided it with his sword into two pieces to share with the poor man. In that night, so the legend goes, a man appeared in Martin’s dream and Martin recognized him as Jesus—wearing the other half of the coat he gave to to the beggar. Martin felt compelled to quit the army, get baptized, and later became a bishop. After his death, he was declared holy by the Pope and was canonized the patron saint of the poor and the soldiers. St. Martin’s Day tradition is celebrated every year in November.

Even though St. Martin died on the 8th of November 397, the Germans and some other European countries celebrate St. Martin’s every year on November 11tth, the date of his funeral. After sunset, children walk with a stick that holds their homemade, candle-lit lanterns on a stick through the streets following a man dressed as St. Martin on the horse. The walk usually ends at a bonfire, where the depiction of St. Martin cutting and sharing his coat comes alive.

Saint Martin’s Day Food

The Martin’s Goose is another St. Martin’s Day tradition. It’s also known as the Martinsgansessen a St. Martin’s Feast. Butchered the night before St. Martin’s Day, the goose is usually stuffed with apples, prunes, bread; and seasoned with herbs and spices. Depending on the region, bakeries offer edible Martin Men with little pipes in their mouths. They are a treat made from yeast dough.

In the links below, I’ll show you how to roast a Martin’s Goose, how to bake the Martin Men, and how to make the paper lanterns. I’ve always enjoyed celebrating the St. Martin’s Day tradition when my children were young. It’s another great memory worth keeping alive—and sharing.

Yours, Oma

(Scroll down for recipes and lantern instructions. Click titled links.)

Martin’s Goose – Martinsgans


Martin’s Men – Weckmänner, Stutenkerle


Lanterns – Laterne