"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Great Goat (Manly Food)!

Yesterday, I made goat for dinner.

Obviously, we have eaten some of our goats before. We have butchered kids two years in a row now, and every time we have eaten some of the meat. But this past butchering was the first time we actually put a whole goat in the freezer. Before that, we sold the kids to people who butchered them on site and then took the meat away for a big party (to which we were invited). See Goat Butchering Party.

Although I cooked a leg of goat on the day of slaughter for the men who were butchering, I had not removed any of the meat from the freezer to cook until last night. I was a little reluctant. It's funny - every time I have eaten goat, I liked it. "Hey, that's not too bad," was my reaction, and sometimes "man, that's really good!" Yet, I never got over the faint distaste I felt when I raised it to my lips and opened my mouth. The thought of eating goat was what I disliked - I'm not sure if it had more to do with the fact of being present for the butchering or with having known the individual animals, or with goat being a "non-food animal" for Americans.

Whatever the problem was, it's all over now. The leg of goat I made last night was probably the single best-tasting piece of meat I've ever eaten in my life. There is one steak from a steakhouse in St. Louis that I remember as being a serious contender, but actually, I think this goat was better.

Goat needs long, slow cooking, I've decided, at least, our goat does. Here's what I did last night:

Braised Goat, Yucateco Style

1 3-4 pound piece of goat (the piece I used was labeled "loin" but I think that was wrong. I think it was actually a substantial section of hind leg.)

Thaw meat if frozen and place in a big ziploc.

In a big mortar and pestle or in the blender, blend together 4 cloves garlic, several allspice berries, several whole cloves, 3/4 tsp cumin seed, ditto peppercorns, 1 tsp salt, pinch red pepper flakes, big pinch thyme, tablespoon olive oil, tablespoon achiote paste, 1.5 cups orange juice, juice of one lime, a half can or so beer (lager) and a tablespoon of cider vinegar. Add a branch of rosemary to the bag (do not blend rosemary in blender). Put marinade in the bag with the meat and let rest 3-4 hours, turning as needed.

No later than 3 in the afternoon, put goat with all the marinade into a large baking dish. Quarter three yellow onions and add to dish. Bake, uncovered, at 325 for 2 hours. Baste occasionally, and turn the meat over once (if the shape of the roast allows this). If marinade thickens too much, loosen with orange juice.

At about 2 hours, test the meat with two forks to see if it pulls away from bone easily. It should be starting to shred. At this point, add to dish (all veggies diced into 1/2" dice) 1 large carrot, one large stick celery, and 1 large potato. Make sure veggies are all coated with juices and leave to bake approximately 1 hour more.

By 6 pm, the meat should be falling apart, the veggies tender, and everyone salivating from the incredible aroma. Serve meat with white rice and lots of fresh hot corn tortillas. This was just out-of-this-world mind blowingly good.

I think I'll try goat ribs next.


dilli and the manthing said...

yeah you found the secret to great goat..few people do for whatever reason and thus have the same reaction to eating goat.. the whole Americans dont eat goat plays into it too...your recipe sounds great!.. i like to take the roast and slow cook in the crock pot then make a pozole type dish around it but with the shredded goat. serve with rice, a bit of shredded cabbage and tortillas

Aimee said...

I think it's because lamb is so good cooked rare. Why not goat? But it just isn't. That sweet, deep, herbal flavor only develops through a low n' slow technique

Michelle said...

My husband took our son to a "roast" this summer at a friend's house - I don't know where the heck I was that day! - but anyway... they had goat and my 8 yr old boy is still talking about that goat. He swears it's the best thing he's ever eaten in his life. Now I know that others feel the same way! :-)

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

With your spice mixture and the o.j., boy does this sound good! The vision of the meat shredding when done is so tempting.

P.S. I like your back-to-back posts on gals/he-men meals! Cute!

Anonymous said...

We've done goat a variety of ways. My wife's favorite is ground goat fried with some basil and lemon juice served on flatbread with a cucumber yogurt sauce.

sunset pines farm said...

we have been a little shy with goat meat, mostly because the farmer friend we have in town who supplies all of us with meat owns the siblings of our goat Vanilla, and we know each time we eat goat at his house, we are eating one of Vanilla's kinfolk...but damn, they taste so good.
Braised with wine or beer is my favorite.