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Goat Heads for Dinner


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A freind butchered a few goats and didn't need the heads.

In Beirut, baked Goat or Sheep heads were sort of a take out meal.

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I decided to salt and bake them in a Dutch oven @325 F covered. The one in the middle is the bottom half of an adult goat head.

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They've been cooking for 1.5 hours. I think they'll be done in as much time.

I'll post the results when they're done.

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That looks fantastic. I will be very curious to see and read how they turn out. A few questions. First, are the brains in tact? I would imagine thise would be good baked within the skull Second, it looked as if the tongues were still attached to the heads, did you seperate them and cook them seperately or did you bake them along with the heads. Other than poaching or blanched then braised, I would think the tounges would become tough simply baked. I am also curious if the eyes get dried out by simply baking them.

Enjoy your feast.

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After 3 hours.

gallery_39290_2072_69186.jpg

As you can see the large lower jaw was falling apart. The tongues were fork tender.

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The heads were in tact. Brains and all. This was served with a garlic, oil and lemon juice sauce and pita bread.

We had made other dishes not knowing if these would turn out ok, so we were pretty full after tasting the large jaw. We haven't cracked open the small ones to see or taste the brains.

The meat was delicious, just as I remember eating it as a child.

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I think they're beautiful, in a somewhat unsettling sort of way. It's real food.... about as far away from styrofoam packed supermarket meat as you can get.

You captured my thoughts exactly.

I do think I'd like it better as part of a whole goat. The heads seem to be floating eerily.

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The only head I've eated is tete de veau, calf head. It was boiled, and very gelatinous. Your baked heads look much drier. And like others, I'm sure, I'm wondering about the eyes. I have a hard time eating eyes, and lips, even of fish. It just seems too personal.

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The only head I've eated is tete de veau, calf head.  It was boiled, and very gelatinous.  Your baked heads look much drier.  And like others, I'm sure, I'm wondering about the eyes.  I have a hard time eating eyes, and lips, even of fish.  It just seems too personal.

:laugh::laugh::laugh: Abra, I love "too personal" because that is just exactly my thought, but I could never have put it that well!

Those heads are cool and scary. Around my non-food friends, I would have to be very nonchalant about them (Kim: "All animals have heads, nothing gross about that" :cool:), but here, with y'all, I admit they freak me out just a little :wink: ).

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Awsome chef! Forgot to mention that in Beirut they have a much cooler name for them than "Goat Head", they are called "nifa" :biggrin: . and yeap they are sold by the same shops that sell you your everyday run of the mill rotisserie chicken. This is not considered "exotic" food. Same goes for sheep testicles, but that's another thread...

As far as I know, the eyes are not eaten. I sure would not want to eat them.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Coooool! And gross. Reminded me of picking meat off a boiled cow's head (trying avoid touching teeth and looking in its eyes) when helping mom to make kholodets as a kid. Kholodets is a kind of meat jelly, made from cow's shanks, tails, heads, and other such exquisite stuff :smile:.

they have something similar to that here in Slovakia but made from pork. its something like mixed offal encased in a gelatinous offal based stock... not too sure where i stand with it however...

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ChefCrash, what instrument, exactly, are you going to use to crack those heads open? And how do you intend to eat the brains? On a cracker? Scrambled? Just a spoon and a smile? Can we see these brains? :biggrin:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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The Capuzello (sheep heads) that I grew up with were served pre-split, brain side up. I imagine that they came from the butcher that way. I remember one year, it may have been July 4, 1976 actually, my Aunt Rose made a whole tray of 'em with little paper American flags sticking out of each one. What a sight!- (thinking back on it now I think sparklers would have been a nice touch as well.) I think that day cemented my family's reputation amongst my friends as being kinda weird but kinda cool. And, no, as a youngster, I didn't partake and I can't really say I regret it but I did have the hot dogs, which may in fact have been made up of more dubious stuff :wink:

Intense photos, and an awesome thread ChefCrash!

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I was in a local Middle-Eastern/Halal market the other day, I looked in the meat case, and glory be, there were some skinned lamb heads looking back at me! Now that I know that I have a source for the main ingredient, I'm tempted to give this dish, or something like it, a go. Only there are a few additional parameters that would need to be met:

1. The damned heat wave currently going on around here would need to be over and done with before I'd even consider turning on the oven, let alone roasting something for three hours.

2. I think I'd need some additional eaters--even though I imagine a single lamb's head wouldn't have all that much meat on it, there'd still probably be more than I could eat at one sitting. Although there's always the possibility of doing fun things with the leftovers.

3. I think I might need to wait for a weekend when current roommate is out of town. While this guy is a helluva lot more open-minded about my more exotic cooking experiments than the much-storied Fearless Ex-Housemate, I still think it might be a bit much to have him confront an ingredient that stared back at him. :biggrin: Although ... he is a lover of heavy-metal rock, so who knows--maybe he'd want a photo of the poor thing for his band's promo. :wacko::laugh:

So ... somewhat more seriously: anything I need to know about preparing one of these babies, if I should get my act together to do this, beyond what's already in this topic? Any preliminary cleaning I need to perform? Should I see if I can get the butcher at that market to split the head, or should I keep it whole? Other seasonings I should consider? Any other advice?

Y'know, depending on which staffer I run into at the market when I go to do the buy, I wonder if I might even get into one of those wonderful conversations, along the lines of "Wow, Euro-American chick who wants to cook some of our food! Cool, let me tell you all about how we do this back home..." :biggrin:

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  • 1 year later...

My friend brought me three of these. They are of, perhaps 10 month old Sheep (assuming sheep give birth in the Spring :unsure: ). They're much bigger than those of the ..er.. Kids' up thread. They're 12" in length and weigh 8 lbs each.

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I've never skinned one of these. It made sense to start at an opening.

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Still with me?

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At the ears I just cut through. The outer ears remained attached to the skin.

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All done. Total skin removed weighed 2 lbs.

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After simmering in salted water and then roasting (for color).

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The carnage. :laugh:

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Are you on a diet yet?

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Head. Deconstructed?

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Anyone fo a head doctor? :biggrin:

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Members of my family married into both French and Spanish Basque families that ran sheep. Eating sheep heads and whole lambs were a part of the color eating at the camp with the herders. The guests of honor and/or the oldest herder were offered the eyes as well as lamb fries (testicles).

Seeing this brought back alot of memories of watching the herders prepare a feast.

I know your meal was wonderful and tasty.

Edited by Susie Q (log)
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A freind butchered a few goats and didn't need the heads.

In Beirut, baked Goat or Sheep heads were sort of a take out meal.

gallery_39290_2072_6656.jpg

I decided to salt and bake them in a Dutch oven @325 F covered. The one in the middle is the bottom half of an adult goat head.

gallery_39290_2072_56828.jpg

They've been cooking for 1.5 hours. I think they'll be done in as much time.

I'll post the results when they're done.

That's freaking awesome.

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

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I'd been wondering whether these were sheep or goat heads, but comparing your two pictures I think they must be sheep.

Excellent skinning job you did, and especially, er, brave, since you seem to have been doing it right on the dining table. The fur is a bit much for me, though. After roasting, do they need no sauce whatsoever?

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