Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mock Goose

There are two separate WWII-era recipes that go by the name "Mock Goose," neither of which bears any little resemblance to one another and even less to an actual goose (and a good thing, too; especially since I was just admiring a whole flock of the feathered darlings in the field behind the local school). One version features layers of sliced potatoes and apples topped with a sprinkling of cheese, while the other is comprised of lentils baked with a bread and onion stuffing. After careful consideration, I decided to combine the most appetizing features of each to produce a "good parts" rendition. 

The result was both appetizing and filling; we enjoyed it with steamed asparagus, champ, and hot mustard (Colman's or Lakeshore are perfect). Despite the minimal quantity of fat and the overall "virtuousness"of the ingredients, I must admit that this dinner evoked no sense of austerity whatsoever. If the other recipes I make this month is as good as this one, we'll have no just cause to complain - especially since we aren't spending nights in the bomb shelter, and no one is trying to kill/invade us. 

One brief aside about quantities: many of the original recipes are either maddeningly vague ("add a small knob of fat") or super-specific ("measure out 2 oz. oatmeal"), so I've taken the liberty of rationalizing things a bit. It should also go without saying that any and all animal products have been replaced with more compassionate alternatives, but the scarcity of things like butter and cream at the time means that many recipes are easy to work with in their original form. 

Mock Goose
~ 3 cups stock or water
~ 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and soaked
~ 1 bay leaf
~ 1 tbsp. margarine or oil
~ 1 small red onion, diced
~ 1 stalk celery, diced
~ 1 large apple, diced
~ 1 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 2 slices stale (or lightly toasted) bread, crumbled
~ 1 tsp. each: sage, thyme, marjoram, parsley, dry mustard
~ 1/2 tsp. each: salt, mace
~ Black pepper to taste
~ 1 large potato, sliced very thin
~ 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional, to replace the cheese noted above)

~ Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
~ Bring the stock to a boil, add the lentils and bay leaf, cover, and bring back to a boil. Turn the heat to low and cook until quite soft (depending on the age of your lentils and whether/how long they've been soaking, this may take anywhere from 15-30 minutes). 
~ Remove from heat, fish out the bay leaf, and drain, reserving any liquid.
~ In a skillet, saute the onion and celery in the margarine over medium heat about 5 minutes.
~ Add the apple, mushrooms, and seasonings, and continue cooking another 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the mushrooms have released their liquid.
~ Add the crumbled stale bread, mix thoroughly, adding the reserved lentil liquid and/or a little water if the stuffing looks too dry. Remove from heat.
~ Coat a deep pie dish with cooking spray, and line the bottom with the sliced potatoes.
~ Layer half of the cooked lentils on top, press down with a spatula or your fingers, and then spoon in the stuffing mixture. Top with the remaining lentils and the nutritional yeast, if using.
~ Bake uncovered at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.
~ Allow to cool briefly before slicing and serving with appropriate root vegetables, mustard, and - for optimum wartime gusto - Bisto gravy.


  1. That sounds interesting! I might have to try it.

  2. It may have to be after MoFo, but this is printed and placed in the "make soon" folder!

  3. It was actually really good, and quite filling; I'm looking forward to the leftovers!

  4. I really love your theme. I've long had an interest in how so many recipes during WWII became vegan or almost-vegan because of rations. I can't wait to see all your culinary adventures. Also, Mock Goose is kind of hilarious - but the recipe looks really good!