That Goat Has Devil Eyes!
January 21, 2008 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Goat is delicious. What are some other ways to cook it?

I enjoy eating goat, but I've mostly had it in various stewed, curried or braised form. Often the cut seems to be mixed pieces of rib or back. Is there such thing as a goat chop? I've seen a couple of recipes for roast leg of goat, but that's more goat than I want to cook. Is there a cut that works well for pan frying or grilling (perhaps with a cumin seed rub of some sort)? Could I find something like this at a halal butcher?

Bonus points for recipes or recipe ideas.
posted by TheWhiteSkull to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
a halal butcher is probably the best bet for chops or legs. Most goat is fairly tough, hence the prevalence of stew and braised cooking forms. One thing you might be able to do, is to ask a butcher to bone a leg for you and cube it, or to cube a shoulder as for stew, but then grill it as kebabs.

Also, since the meat is fairly tough, consider marinating the meat for about an hour in wine and/or lemon or lime juice + garlic + herbs to tenderize.
posted by bl1nk at 11:34 AM on January 21, 2008

Goatmeat tends to be rather tough, so you have to keep it on the fire for extremely long periods of time to tenderize it. However that said, sliced thinly, they make awesome kabobs:

Goat kabobs (khebabs):

Take long thin slices of goat meat and thread them on a skewer alternating between meat and bell peppers/red onions.

Sprinkle a mixture of cayenne pepper powder, season salt, a pinch of curry, a pinch of ginger powder peanut powder, (put dry roasted peanuts in a coffee mill and mill till you get a nice fine consistency then dry it out in the oven for about 5 mins, making sure it doesnt burn) onto the meat. Brush some canola oil onto the meat and stick it in the oven (350) for about 10 mins each side. Spicy but mm good!

(note that this recipe also works well with beef, pork or chicken gizzards. chicken, not so much!)
posted by ramix at 11:35 AM on January 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Goat meat doesn't have a lot of fat and tend to dry out with quick, hot cooking methods. This is why most goat is slow cooked using moisture retaining methods. The only goat chops I've ever had came from kid, which is more tender than adult goat. So it can be done- you just need to find a good butcher that stocks kid as well as goat. I don't have experiences with Halal shops, but I think it would be worth investigating- Latino butchers often have goat as well.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:39 AM on January 21, 2008

I had a soccer coach who used to hunt goat and smoke it, making jerky-like sticks of it. I remember loving it.
posted by Hackworth at 11:40 AM on January 21, 2008

i immediately thought of the jamaican staple, curry goat. so yummy!

jack mauldin's recipe collection looks very promising: recipes for pot roast, chili, loaf, fajitas, stew, chops and burgers, among others.
posted by lia at 11:46 AM on January 21, 2008

Is goat gamey?
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:46 AM on January 21, 2008

Nearly any braised lamb dish will work well with goat. Indian/Pakistani dishes are my favorite use for goat. I can't recommend Great Curries of India enough, the recipes all work, make sense, and are authentic. Jamaican goat curry is also great but I haven't found a recipe I love yet. I also buy goat at a halal butcher, the one I shop at is happy to cut any size/shape you want.
posted by foodgeek at 12:00 PM on January 21, 2008

I've had goat chops in a restaurant that were marinated before being seared. You'd want a reasonably acidic marinade to break down the meat fibers -- a nice red wine vinegar and olive oil marinade with some garlic and fresh herbs perhaps?
posted by briank at 12:43 PM on January 21, 2008

I would not hold out too much hope for halal butchers. I have a good Muslim friend who refers to halal butchers as "two brothers with a bandsaw". They tend to convert any piece of meat into uniform cubes in his experience. (he has not been able to find a halal steak in ages to his great disappointment) Couple that with goat's dryness and you're unlikely to find a chop or steak.

If you can find a halal butcher who actually knows how to butcher meat in what I consider the "traditional" (i.e. white guy butcher) style you may be in luck. But you may have to search to find such a butcher.
posted by GuyZero at 12:45 PM on January 21, 2008

You may have better luck with a Latino butcher. But yeah, goat meat is made for slow moist cooking.

Lord_Pall, I would describe goat as pleasantly gamey. If you like lamb, you'll be fine with goat.
posted by desuetude at 12:59 PM on January 21, 2008

Response by poster: Great answers so far! Sounds like goat might be a good candidate for a wet-style bbq.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:13 PM on January 21, 2008

I associate goat mostly with the area from the Balkans to the Indian Subcontinent. No specific recipes here, but I'd suggest you look up Greek, Turkish & Persian cooking (slow roasts & stews recommended respectively), as well as Northern Indian (Mughlai) & Pakistani recipes. The Greeks make lamb & goat roasts that just melt off the bone.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:04 PM on January 21, 2008

Best answer: Found (after searching a while); Cyclingforums has four recipes for preparing goat. I like birria de chivo but had difficulty finding recipes. One particular recipe was linked to and repeated several times.

Also look at Ecookbook Goat Lovers cookbook.
posted by X4ster at 2:04 PM on January 21, 2008

Best answer: Argh, so much misinformation. Goat meat is neither tough nor gamey, unless, in the first case, it is from an aged goat, or, in the second case, it was improperly butchered or fed a weird diet. (I've been eating goat, or "chevon," for 20 years.) Goat meat from an animal that was slaughtered before 2 years old, and slaughtered and butchered properly, is tender and mild. Goat chops are indeed delicious if you can find them. And a goat roast, where you stud the roast with garlic cloves and crust it with salt and pepper, is really, really good.

It isn't even true as a rule that goat meat is dry; it depends on the cut and, to some extent, on the breed of the goat. Dairy breeds carry a lot less fat than meat breeds. There is a belief in some circles that goat fat tastes bad, and so many people trim it all away–making a dry cut of meat. In my experience, the only goat fat that tastes bad is the abdominal fat, and that usually doesn't taste great from beef or lamb either. The stuff that comes along with a chop is delicious.
posted by bricoleur at 3:45 PM on January 21, 2008

Absolutely right on all counts.

The first time I saw the word 'bricoleur' was in a Victor Hugo novel, it has two different meanings as I recall. Correct?
posted by X4ster at 4:28 PM on January 21, 2008

Bricoleur's understanding about goat meat matches mine. "Spring kid" is a young goat, analogous to lamb or veal, and is supposed to be much more tender and less gamy than the aged stuff you're apt to find in the local curry, jerk, or birria joint.

I haven't had much luck finding it myself, though - but I sure appreciate the impulse.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:30 PM on January 21, 2008

@X4ster: I don't have much French, but the meanings I'm aware of are: a) handyman, DIYer; b) someone who takes the materials at hand and adapts them to his needs. It's the second meaning that I identify with, though I'm an inveterate DIYer as well. I don't remember where I first encountered the word, but Levi-Strauss puts a spin on it that I like.
posted by bricoleur at 7:46 PM on January 21, 2008

Best answer: thewhiteskull: When you move to Toronto, go as fast as your conveyance can carry you to THE NEW BILAN Somali restaurant at Gerrard and Jarvis (or in that general area, might be Dundas and Jarvis). They do a spectacular goat stew, but they also serve a bowl of thin soup that is made with goat broth. Do not scoff at this little bowl of insipid-looking soup. Drink it. It has just shocking depth of flavour. Goat broth, who knew?
posted by ethnomethodologist at 8:09 PM on January 21, 2008

... and yes, there are goat chops. There is a Pakistani resto in Calgary called Mirchi that does beautiful goat chops. Very much like lamb chops.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 8:10 PM on January 21, 2008

Somali restaurant: reminded me of kitfo, the Ethiopian speciality made of raw minced goat meat, with butter & spices. Something like a steak tartare. Delicious!
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:00 PM on January 21, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone! I'm now back in TO (need to update profile), so I'll definitely check out the restaurant that ethnomethodologist recommends.

X4ster & bricoleur, I believe the term originally refers to someone who applied material to wattle and daub housing. Levi-Strauss used it in the sixties in reference to mythological modes of thought, and the Cultural Studies people picked it up to refer to someone who assembles cultural artifacts or practices out of disparate elements.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:41 AM on January 22, 2008

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