Goose Cracklings (grieben) Recipe

Goose Cracklings (Grieben) Recipe

History and Fun Facts:
Goose Cracklings, also known as Grieben, have a rich culinary history that dates back centuries. They are a traditional dish in many European and Jewish cuisines. Originally, cracklings were made from the thick fat of geese, which was a popular ingredient in many dishes due to its abundance of fat and flavor. The process of rendering the fat and creating cracklings was a way to preserve and utilize every part of the goose.

Fun Fact: In Jewish cuisine, Goose Cracklings (Gribenes) were a common ingredient used in various dishes, including chopped liver and matzo balls. They added a deliciously crispy texture and enhanced the overall flavor of these traditional dishes.


- Thick fat of a fat goose (cut into pieces the size of the palm of your hand)
- Toothpicks
- Salt (to taste)
- 1-2 cups of cold water
- Soft or "linda" fat (for browning)
- Rye bread (for serving)


1. Cut the thick fat of a fat goose into pieces about the size of the palm of your hand. This will help ensure that the cracklings cook evenly.

2. Roll each piece of fat together and secure it with a toothpick. This will prevent them from falling apart during cooking.

3. Place a large preserve kettle on a hot stove. Lay the cracklings inside the kettle, ensuring they are evenly spread out.

4. Sprinkle a little salt over the cracklings to enhance the flavor. The amount of salt can vary based on personal preference, so adjust accordingly.

5. Pour in 1-2 cups of cold water into the kettle, enough to cover the cracklings. The water will help steam the cracklings before the fat starts cooking.

6. Cover the kettle tightly and let the cracklings cook on medium heat, ensuring it's not too fast. This process will help render the fat from the cracklings.

7. Allow the cracklings to cook until the water has evaporated. This can take around 1-2 hours, depending on the size and thickness of the cracklings. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.

8. Once the water has cooked out, add the soft or "linda" fat to the kettle. Keep the top off to allow the cracklings to brown nicely.

9. Let the cracklings cook in the fat until they turn golden brown. This can take about an hour or so. The cooking time can be adjusted depending on how crispy or soft you prefer your goose cracklings.

10. If you prefer your cracklings to be soft and chewy, remove them from the fat before they are fully browned. This will prevent them from becoming too brittle.

11. Place a strainer over your fat crock to catch the clear fat and allow the cracklings to drain. This will help remove any excess grease.

12. If your cracklings are still too greasy, you can place them in a baking pan and bake them in the oven for a few minutes to remove any remaining excess grease.

13. Serve the delicious Goose Cracklings (Grieben) at lunchtime with slices of rye bread. The combination of the crispy cracklings and the hearty flavor of rye bread is a match made in culinary heaven.

Similar Recipe Dishes:
1. Pork Cracklings (Chicharrones): Like Goose Cracklings, Pork Cracklings are made by rendering the fat from pork skin. They are popular in many Latin American and Filipino cuisines. Pork cracklings are often seasoned with various spices and served as a crunchy snack or as a topping for soups and stews.

2. Chicken Skin Cracklings: Chicken Skin Cracklings are made using the skin of a chicken, which is rendered until crispy and golden brown. These cracklings can be seasoned with different herbs and spices and are a delicious snack or garnish for salads and appetizers.

3. Beef Fat Cracklings: Beef Fat Cracklings, also known as Gribenes, are made using the fat from beef. The fat is rendered until crispy, creating a flavorful and crunchy snack. They are commonly enjoyed in Jewish cuisine and are often used as a topping for dishes like chopped liver or potato latkes.

Goose Cracklings (Grieben) offer a unique and flavorful way to utilize the fat from a goose. Whether enjoyed as a standalone snack or incorporated into various dishes, these cracklings are a delicious treat that celebrates the rich culinary history of traditional European and Jewish cuisine.



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