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The Goat Topic: Tips & Techniques


RossyW
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I may be working on a goat farm for the summer. One of the major benefits of this job would be the huge amounts of free ultra-fresh organic goat's cheese, meat, and milk.

Browsing around the cookbook aisle yesterday, and glancing at some indexes, I found virtually nothing that would help me out in the kitchen, aside from various uses of goat cheese. I'm an enthusiastic but beginning cook and am just looking for a place to find some nice goat recipes. I imagine it can be substituted for lamb much of the time, but I'm sure there are better ways to use the meat. I haven't eaten goat enough times myself to know how it might be uniquely used.

Anyone have a cookbook to recommend (in any national/regional style at all)? Or, maybe, some favorite recipes? Or just ruminations on goat?

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Goat and lamb are interchangeable only up to a point. I don't think I've ever seen rare goat. The only time I've seen goat on the menu in NYC has been in a West Indian, Caribbean or Mexican restaurant. Now that I've said that, I'm focused on the difference between a West Indian and Caribbean restaurant. Clearly the West Indies are in the Caribbean, but to me, a West Indian restaurant represents a island where English is the official language and the food culture is strongly influenced by African and East Indian cooking, while a Caribbean island is Spanish speaking and the food is more likely to be influenced by a mix of native, Spanish and African cooking, but with heaviest influence from Spain. I'd look for recipes among those cultures.

I had roast kid in Spain recently, but you don't usually see it in France for all the goat cheese they make.

Basic cooking methods for goat meat.

Cooking with goat.

Goat recipes. 28 recipes in all.

Goat - the other red meat. 11 more recipes.

Year of the goat, Year of the 'kaldereta.' Spicy stew specialty of Central and Northern Luzon.

That's just from page one of a google search for "cooking goat." You'll have to wade through the recipes using goat cheese, but there's a gold mine, or at least a goat recipe mine online.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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A friend in Louisiana once served me goat that he had prepared in a home smoker -- it was wonderful. You occasionally see kid (chevreau) served in France, but it is very rare.

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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I don't think I've ever seen rare goat.
You occasionally see kid (chevreau) served in France, but it is very rare.

There you go contradicting me again. :biggrin:

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Great links, Bux.

I've eaten goat innumerable times in Nigeria in my youth and a few times in Canada at African restaurants. Basically, it stands in for mutton (and in many countries "mutton" can mean sheep or goat).

It's available in Ottawa frozen in supermarkets and I've used it a few times, primarily in curry-style dishes with angeli bread. But I prefer lamb or sheep to kid or goat.

But the cheese... The cheeeeeese...

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

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Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Thanks for the links, Bux. A few weeks ago when I stopped by Nezinscot Farm to pickup some of their good, natural meats I got a small boneless goat shoulder. I've never had nor cooked goat before and your links bear out how I figured I should cook it - braise, long and slow.

Also, after I got this goat meat I called an old customer of mine who years ago gave up building masonry heaters and went into raising goats for meat. He has 150-200 goats - with a llama that protects the kids from coyotes. He recommended marinating the shoulder over night in beer or wine with rosemary and garlic. He said the best goat meat he's done was slow roasting in one of those plastic (cellophane-like) bags than one uses for chickens and turkeys sometimes. The main thing is to keep the meat from drying out. I think I'll do a slow braise. He recommended 4-6 hours for that depending on size.

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There's a terrific recipe in Fergus Henderson's Nose to Tail Eating for roast leg of kid. I can't remember exactly what's in it, but I'll dig it out later. What sticks in the memory, though, is that he suggests you use lots of herbs "of the kind you could imagine the young kid gambolling through". Not a book to show to a veggie, Mr Henderson's :smile:

Adam

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The is an important distinction to be made between the different ages of the goats. If you can get milk fed kid, the flesh is white, tender and very mild in flavour. Older animals have a stronger flavour and older, intact, male animals can be quite rank in flavour.

Middle-Eastern and North African flavours work well with kid/goat meat. The last time I cooked it I marinated a leg of milk-fed kid in Yogurt, flavoured with saffron, powdered ginger and cinamon then slowly raosted it. The yoghurt turns a gold colour during the cooking process.

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I've combined braised goat and broiled goat cheese in one dish. They complement each other, the goat smell of the meat, the mild bite of the cheese but a strong flavor...

Somehow it worked. White beans and thyme, I think, were the other major flavor components. And summer tomatoes.

Goat can be hard to find butchered. I've had to buy whole carcasses every time I wanted it. Sometimes it can be found at Halal shops and I imagine they would have different cuts. Long and slow cooking is definitely the way to go. You might want to stay out of the kitchen though. It can smell like you're cooking a daschund...

If we aren't supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?

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I had some very good roast kid on Easter sunday in Rome. It was a 'capretto pasquale' and was a very young milk fed kid. I reckon it must have been the size of a large cat judging from the size of the ribs. Very white and delicate meat; cooked in the oven with garlic potatoes and rosemary. Like milk-fed lamb but milder in flavour.

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After raising goats in the Midwest US and now living in the Caribbean where stewed goat and *goat water* (re the reference to goat soup?) are common...and not knowing shite about buying goat in markets...I would add this. Goat meat, as opposed to -farm raised-lamb, haven't the fat content (the milk is way different too, hence awesome cheese and incredible ice cream!) and how you cook the meat reflects that. Wild goat versus farm raised will be very different indeed, to me more like venison as to prep. The marinades work; I've used oj and cheap red wine and the usual garlic etc but the described yogurt etc sounds wonderful!...slow cooking, as to the lower fat content to keep it tender. All I know for sure is it is some of the best meat to be had, but ours were spoiled rotten and ate better than we did. But we returned the favor. Re: "size of a large cat" - the local spanish neighbors were constantly wanting to steal our babies for bbq...tender is the night. Here in the Caribbean, where goat and sheep look alike the rule is...tail down, sheep, tail up, goat. The rules are different here....and so is the taste.

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Thanks all, for your help.

I got the job ... I will probably eat more goat this summer than most eat in a lifetime. I'm sure I'll figure out something good to do with it!

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  • 1 year later...

I'm hosting a Returned Peace Corp Volunteer Party this weekend and due to popular demand, we've got a goat to roast. It's cut into 2 legs, rib roasts, shoulder roasts, loin and stew meat. My thought was to roast both legs in the oven (crowd of 10 or so to feed) and do kebabs with some of the other roasts on the grill. Does anyone have any tips on oven temperature and finish temperature? I like my lamb rather pink, but not having been to Africa myself, I'm not familiar with a good goat benchmark. Any suggestions ??

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It's hard to roast goat well. Goats are muscley, lean animals. They have great flavour but it can be challenging to get the meat tender and juicy. Low and slow is the way I'd do it, to get that tough meat to soften up. 250, 275 degrees for between an hour or two. Broil for ten minutes at the end if there isn't enough browning. Use rosemary or thyme, garlic and olive oil. Plenty of salt. Baste it with, maybe olive oil infused with garlic as you go along. Good luck. Rare goat isn't a nice thing.

I might make a stewed or curry goat dish also. Among goat preparations, that's probably the easiest way to achieve success.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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The best way to roast goat is to lard it, that is get some pork fat, cut into thin strips and insert into the meat.

If some of your guests do not eat pork, you can get some beef suet and do the same thing.

A larding needle is hard to find nowadays, but a very thin bladed knife and a chopstick can work just fine.

The fat completely disappears during cooking and makes the meat very tender. Brining helps also.

Goat is actually less strong a meat than mutton.

Ned is correct that slow and low is the best way. I wrap seasoned roasts in aluminum foil and cook in the oven at a very low temperature for quite a long time.

Even well done, the meat is moist and tender.

If you have time, do a practice run with one roast first. You can always reheat it, shred it for something like tacos (or fill pita pockets).

It is always a chancy thing to cook something for the first time for a large party of guests.

You are a brave person.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Roast goat is also one of those things that takes well to an initial herb and spice rub and/or marinade, of any sort...a Spanish adobo, an Indian yogurt, or a Mediterranean olive oil/wine type.

I think the toughness often depends on how large the goat has grown (how old it is) and where it has grazed and upon what.

If the pieces are somewhere around three pounds each?, a 350 degree oven for two and a half to three hours (covered so it will not dry out) should do it, with either an initial browning to start or if needed a quick finish under the broiler. Or, as andiesenji said, even longer at a lower heat. It should not be rare or tough.

Better to start early and allow plenty of time!

It is truly a delicious meat.

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I have made the goat stew from the recipe on this site

Goat stew and it is indeed remarkable.

If you brine the goat meat prior to cutting it up for the stew

with this brine recipe

it will be tender and not at all gamey. Far better than lamb, in my opinion.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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It is always a chancy thing to cook something for the first time for a large party of guests.

You are a brave person.

Actually, I'm not that brave -- I'm off the hook since most of my guests remember goat being more an African experience than a great culinary feast! Part of the fun will be seeing if we can do better than the 'shrapnel stew' they remember. Most of the guests served in Tanzania/Zanzibar, so curry is definately an option given the East Indian influence of that region. Chapati and dal are on the menu too to reflect that. Thanks for the great advice!

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I think the toughness often depends on how large the goat has grown (how old it is) and where it has grazed and upon what.

It is truly a delicious meat.

We were fortunate to get a kid goat raised on Vermont green pasture, so I'm hopeful we're starting better than Serengeti scrub land and an older culled animal. The legs are much smaller than the lamb I just got and the whole animal was 26 pounds processed, so I'm assuming by 'kid' the butcher meant quite young.

Apparently, goat is quite delicious-- thus the incentive to give it a try and the reason I've got so many volunteers willing to risk it. My husband gets a dreamy look when he mentions it (and the roasted octopus he ate in Zanzibar, but I think that must be all the spices in the air there).

Thanks for the tips!

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I've had roast kid (not nearly as big as you'll be doing) and it is wonderful. Because you have a kid and not an adult goat, you probably don't need to worry too much about the toughness. The difference between kid and goat is similar to the difference between lamb and mutton.

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I was introduced to goat while I was in the Peace Corps as well. I was in Albania though, and I'm sure the preparation wasn't the same as the African one. The Albanians stuffed it with olives and roast it like a pig over apple wood. One of my "lucky" friends was there for the slaughtering and was honored by being offered the raw spleen which he held his breath and chomped down on. Kinda vile to the westerner but a delicacy to the Albanians who also enjoy the eyeballs quite a bit. Another preparation was to boil the goat. I'm not sure if this was for select cuts to make them more tender or just another fun way to enjoy your goat. Both dishes were quite tasty, but the roast goat stuffed with olives was really special.

Soup is good food.

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In Argentinean Parilla restaurants they do them spread eagle, leaning toward the center of a coal pit...

Often spraying them with a bottle of salt water for seasoning...

Served with Chimichurri at the table...

We did a huge Parrillada (mixed meat plate) and I remember the chivito (young goat) was close to my favorite...

I loved too many other things there to say it for sure...

It was juicy like dark meat chicken...

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