BEJLIK ROASTED GOOSE BREASTCzech name: Bejlík z husích prsou
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Bejlik is a particularly tasty and traditional Czech food, especially common in the Central Bohemian Region. If we dig more into history, we see that Bejlik is an essential part of popular St. Martin’s celebrations. The figure of St. Martin ranks among the most favorite saints. He is usually portrayed on a horse with half a coat on his back. Commonly depicted next to him is a bigger bearing the other half of the coat, which was willingly given to him by St. Martin. Although the former communist regime in the Czech lands did not support St. Martin’s celebrations due to their Christian heritage, such celebrations are once again becoming popular, more so ever year.
4 pieces goose breast (2 lbs)
16 garlic cloves
1/4 fresh ginger
salt to taste
1/2 cup goose fat
goose broth (or chicken broth)
(If you purchased a whole goose, then put the leftover portions in water in a pressure cooker and let it do its magic.)
Meal preparation should be completed a day prior to actual cooking, if you wish to achieve a very strong aroma and flavor. Start by taking the skin off the meat. (If you do prepare the meal a day early, then save the skin for the second day). Then prepare the meat by smearing it with garlic, ginger, and salt. Do not use all of the garlic and ginger at once, since it will also be used in the next part.
The next day cut the onion into small pieces and fry the pieces with garlic (mashed) and ginger (grated) in goose fat. Obtain the goose fat by putting the skin fat-side-down with the other ingredients in a casserole dish. Heat the dish for 10 –15 minutes, not forgetting to stir. This will release the fat you need for roasting. Once you get the desired sauce, remove the skin.
After everything is becoming golden and you can smell the aroma, add the goose broth, which should reach half the height of the meat. Cover the dish with a lid and put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350F. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes at 300F. Do not forget to add salt and regularly pour the sauce on the meat to prevent its burning.
Sides to Bejlik
The most common side dishes for Bejlik are potatoes and red cabbage, which are simple to prepare. Potatoes are peeled and boiled in salted water as long as they do not seem too tender and falling into little pieces.
Canned red cabbage is usually heated and served with potatoes.