The Cure - December 2014

Welcome to the December 2014 edition of The Cure

Our Holiday issue of The Cure is all about options. There are always alternatives when planning a menu. Fred talks about getting away from the Christmas Turkey. Alanna McIntyre from Bishop's Cellar's returns with the perfect wine pairing suggestion for your Christmas party. The cheese of the month is a a very old, very delicious French variety. Next we'd like to introduce our holiday specials followed by news from at the shop. Thanks for reading The Cure!

Christmas Goose

By Frédéric Tandy

With the Holiday season coming, I’m sure many of you are thinking about cooking a turkey. I’d like to offer you an alternative, of which there a few. Here are a few roasting options to consider. Duck, Cornish Hen, Guinea Foul and one of my favourites, roast Goose. They have a beautiful, moist, red meat with a nice gamey taste which isn’t too strong.

The best way to cook a goose is to debone the whole bird and cook the breast and legs separately. The breasts can be should be served rare to medium-rare while the legs need to be cooked until at least 165° internal temperature.

Cooking goose breasts

  1. Heat a pan to medium heat. Place the breasts in skin side down to start until the skin is very crisp (make sure to drain the extra fat out and keep for cooking your potatoes.
  2. Flip over the breasts over and cook for another five minutes.
  3. Remove from the pan and let them rest for ten minutes.

Cooking goose legs

  1. Season the legs and cook them for two hours minimum at a low temperature. You want the meat to fall apart.
  2. You can also confit them in fat or braise the legs in stock.

Talking about stock, you’ll get plenty from the bones left over when you cut off the legs and breasts. Roast the bones at 400° for 30 minutes or so until they’re brown. This will give you a darker, richer stock. Make the goose stock the same way you would make a chicken stock. Lots of fresh herbs, onions, carrots, celery and leek. The more you cook it down, the more intense the flavour.

For sides dishes there are a lot of options. Any traditional side dish you serve with turkey will go well with goose. Roast root vegetables, a Gratin Dauphinois and cranberry sauce would be a great pairing.

I wish you all of you a great holiday season, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions!


Wine pairing with Goose

By Alanna McIntyre, Bishop's Cellar

The sommelier suggests 

Just the mention of feasting on a holiday goose calls to mind Miss Piggy singing “Christmas is coming” (over and over and over again). Well, the geese are indeed getting fat and we can’t wait to dig in! 

Goose is stronger flavoured and fattier (therefore tastier) meat than Turkey. If you’re looking for a delicious wine to match, look for one with a pronounced fruit flavour and high enough acidity to cut through the richness of the goose. I love the intensity of aromatic Alsatian wines from the Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer varietals. These tend to be fuller bodied than those produced in Germany due to Alsace’s really sunny and dry location where the grapes ripen to high sugar levels and are usually fermented dry or fairly dry. The extra weight of these wines and the higher alcohol is also helpful when pairing with a full flavoured dish. It’s the holidays, the time of year when you can get away with being a little bit over the top; maybe it’s a sparkly top, a cool tie or just a really bold wine like the exotic and intensely spicy Gewurtztraminer by Zind Humbrecht. If you want something a little less hedonistic, but equally satisfying, try the Gustave Lorentz Riesling. To please the red wine drinkers, you can’t go wrong with a fruity Canadian Pinot Noir that has vibrant acidity such as Meyer or a perfectly balanced and elegant Rioja Gran Riserva such as Baron de Ley. Whatever wine you choose for your goose, I hope it’s enjoyed in good company with lots of holiday cheer! .

Alanna McIntyre is a Sommelier at Bishop's Cellar. Visit their great location and follow them on Twitter.

The Cheese course


Someone told us Cantal is the closet thing the French will ever get to making a cheddar. True, it shares many of the characteristics, hard, dry and crumbly. But it’s missing the sharp bite one would typically find. The mellowness and buttery flavour is one of the reasons Cantal so popular.

One of the oldest cheeses in France, Cantal can be broken down into three types grouped according to age and texture. The first is Cantal jeune, the youngest version, is aged only 30 to 60 days. It has a sweet, fresh and milky in flavour with a light hint of hazelnut. Cantal Entre-deux is when the cheese starts to come into its own. Aged for 3 months, it has developed aromas of butter and cream. Finally with Cantal Vieux the cheese has a fully formed, ripened flavour and thick crust.

From: Cantal mountains of the Auvergne region, Central Southern France
Type: Unpasteurized or pasteurized cow’s milk (depending on the variety)
Texture: Semi-hard to hard
Fat: 45%
Aged: 1 to 8 months
Taste: Buttery, milky, nutty, strong, sweet and tangy
Accompaniments: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

Christmas Specials!

What Christmas be without those extra special items for your party? This holiday season we have some great ones we can't wait for you to try.

Christmas Tourtière de Noël – $20. A classic Québecois dish for Réveillon. Ours has goose and pork with a very buttery crust! Order yours by December 18th for pick-up between the 19th and 24th. (Please indicate which date!) 

Spicy Salami with Fennel – Our spiciest dry-cure sausage is back. So hot, it melts snow! Well maybe.

Wild Boar with Almonds – The next batch of this amazing, one-of-a-kind dry-cure sausage is back just in time for your Christmas party!


Happening at Ratinaud

By Tom Crilley
Philip Docker from ShanDaph Oysters at the shop

Got oysters on the menu for your party? On Saturday December 20th, Philip Docker from ShanDaph Oysters will be back at the shop from 9am to 4pm with all your oyster needs. We're taking special orders until Monday December 15th for many different size bags and boxes of choice and standard oysters. Come meet a great local producer and get to know more about where the best oysters in Nova Scotia come from!

Available boxes and bags
Box of 24 Small choice – $32
Box of 20 Medium choice – $32
Box of 48 Medium choice – $77
Box of 55 Small choice – $74
Box of 36 Large choice – $70
Bag of 50 Small & Medium standard– $35
Bag of 36 Large standard – $35
Bag of 65 Medium standard – $100
Bag of 75 Small standard – $100

Holiday hours and vacation

Monday, December 22nd - Open from 10am to 7pm
Tuesday, December 23rd - Open from 10am to 7pm
Wednesday, December 24th - Open from 10am to 3pm
Thursday, December 25th - CLOSED
Friday, December 26th - CLOSED
Saturday, December 27th - Open from 9am to 6pm
Sunday, December 28th - Open from 9am to 6pm
Monday, December 29th - Open from 10am to 7pm
Tuesday, December 30th - Open from 10am to 7pm
Wednesday, December 31st - Open from 10am to 3pm
Thursday, January 1st - Friday, January 9th - CLOSED FOR VACATION

From all of us at Ratinaud, please have an amazing Happy Holiday full of family, friends and great food and drink. The past year has been fantastic and we can't thank you enough. Joyeux Noël et Merry Christmas à tous, see you all in 2015!

Tell us if we've been naughty or nice:
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Season's Greetings from all of us at Ratinaud!
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