Goose curry will be on the menu at Sgoil Lionacleit on Benbecula today (Thursday) as part of a project on managing the birds.
As part of Scottish Natural Heritage’s adaptive management trial Machair LIFE+ have been working with the high school to provide information on local greylag goose management and using the meat of culled birds rather than seeing it go to waste.
A very lean healthy meat, its flavour can vary depending on the bird, from sweet and tender to a strong gamey flavour.
Now, using popular school lunch recipes and a simpler method of processing the meat, Machair LIFE+ are running a trial to put goose meat on the school lunch menu.
Students on the S3 and S4 Crofting Year course have been learning about crop protection and the SNH trial and also received a demonstration by marksman and ex-teacher, Phillip Harding, of how to process a goose from ‘in-feather’ to oven-ready.
Students then had a go, learning how qiuck and easy it is to remove the breasts.
After this the baton was passed to S4 hospitality students to come up with a popular recipe to use the meat in for school lunches. They prepared curry, bolognese, lasagne and burgers using the meat then asked teachers, staff and students to score each dish.
A fruity curry came tops and will now be offered at a special free lunch at the school today, with the school canteen open to the public from 12.30pm to 1pm, before students tuck in themselves.
Co-ordinating the project is Machair LIFE+ community and education officer, Hazel Smith, who said:
“This project is really important for Uist. It is vital that the next generation of crofters learn about goose management in order that a sustainable population of geese can be maintained in the future. Goose meat used to be a common dish on the Uist table, but for various reasons it seems to have become unpopular. The school dinners project aims to get everyone trying this hearty and healthy food again.”