Snow Goose Stew with Barley and Mushrooms

This is a hearty stew inspired by some similar Russian stews I’ve come across over the years. I imagine it to be something eaten in Siberia, or on Wrangel Island, where many of California’s snow geese spend their summers. I used snow geese in this recipe, but the dish would work with all sorts of meats: other geese, ducks, jackrabbit or hare, muskrats, venison — and yes, domestic beef or lamb.

I also used wild yellowfoot mushrooms, which can be hard to find. If you have access to a fancy supermarket, buy them, or buy beech mushrooms. If that’s not an option, any fresh mushroom will do. Don’t have celery root? Use potatoes. No barley? Rye or wheat berries would also work, although rye takes a long time to cook. No duck fat? Use lard or butter. No duck stock? Use beef stock.

This stew keeps well in the fridge for a week, and it freezes well.

Serves 6-8.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

  • 8 goose legs, about 2-3 pounds
  • 3 tablespoons duck fat, lard or butter
  • 1 large onion, sliced, about 3 cups
  • 1 pound yellowfoot chanterelles, beech mushrooms or other mushrooms
  • 7 cups duck stock or beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons marjoram
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream per person

 

  1. Heat the duck fat in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the goose legs well. Salt them as they cook. Remove the goose legs as they brown and set aside.
  2. Once the goose legs are all browned, add the onions and mushrooms and turn the heat to high. Stir to combine. Saute until the onion begins to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add the marjoram and return the goose legs to the pot, then pour over the duck stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until the goose legs are tender, anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours.
  3. When the goose legs are tender, remove them, let them cool a bit, and pull all the meat off the bone. Return it to the pot. Add the barley, carrots and celery root. Stir well and cook until the barley and celery root are cooked, about 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.
  4. Serve garnished with dill and black pepper, and give everyone a dollop of sour cream on their bowls when you come to the table.