Sunday, October 08, 2006

Go the goat

I love young goat meat, but strangely enough we don’t seem to warm to it too much in this country. It’s hard to find it to buy, except at specialist butchers. The most memorable goat you will have is probably in Greece, Italy or Spain or slow braised in an Asian style dish.

One of the best bits of the produce at the Growers Markets are the people who bring us young goat, or kid, often called capretto (milk fed up to 4 months old) or chevon (grass fed up to 12 months old). Most cuts of goat you can cook in a similar way to lamb, with a few provisos to compensate for the lack of fat in the meat.

I find that because goat meat is so very lean, it needs some help in the moisture department from vegetables and olive oil. The flavour of goat is quite flinty, not as sweet as young lamb, and with a very tight grain structure through the fibres. Older goat can be gamey, but kid is sweeter and lightly pungent, rather than overpowering in taste. It needs to be treated a little more delicately to bring out its milder flavour.

I’ve cooked from various parts of the beast, but this time I chose a little de-boned leg of kid to play with, from Cootamundra Kid and cooked it using an Italian method, from recipes inspired by Melbourne’s Guy Grossi and that wonderful Italian cooking bible The Silver Spoon. This 'abbacchio' is usually made with very young lamb and served at Easter, but works equally well with capretto.

Abbacchio Alla Romana (roast kid with herbs, breadcrumbs and parmesan).

1kg de-boned suckling kid leg
1 small onion – finely chopped
4 small roma bella plum tomatoes, quartered
4 sage leaves, chopped
3 sprigs rosemary chopped
1 bay leaf (fresh if possible)
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 small chilli chopped
200ml white wine
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
50 mls good olive oil;
50gms breadcrumbs;
50gms freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Preheat oven to 180 C. In a small roasting pan place the onion, tomato, herbs, garlic, and chilli to make a bed for the kid. Place the kid leg on top and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the olive oil and pour the white wine around the sides over the vegetables. Sprinkle the top of the lamb and veges with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Bake for 40 minutes until the meat is very tender and has a golden brown crust.

Let the roast rest for 10-15 minutes and serve sliced with the vegetables and juice as a sauce. Serve with roast potatoes and your favourite rocket salad.


Anonymous Ellie said...

You know, I've never had goat before...I know they serve a goat curry with a good reputation at a Nepalese restaurant near my workplace, but have never tried it, no idea why. Maybe I should give it a shot :D

9:59 PM  
Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

I don't mind goat but I've never tried cooking it. And I have to say that reading "1kg de-boned suckling kid leg" made me think of something else completely! lol. That's one way to get the kids to do their homework!

10:22 PM  
Blogger Reb said...

Hi Ellie - if it's old goat the taste can be a bit confronting, but the young stuff is really yummy. There's a restaurant here in Sydney called The Nepalese Kitchen that does a fantastic goat curry, so I'd give your Nepalese a try for sure!

Nice one Helen, as W.C. Fields said - "I like children, but only when they're properly cooked"

6:57 AM  
Blogger neil said...

If it wasn't so dang hard to get, I would definitely cook more with it. The Queen Vis seems to be the easiest place to get it, but I don't know, the meat in general is okay from there, but there are disappointments. Yours looks tantalizing.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Ed Charles said...

Yes, I've seen it quite cheap at Queen Vic for whole goats. I think it is far superior to lamb in many ways. I also don't mind the strong taste of an old slow cooked goat. Perhaps I'm inspired to go the goat myself at home soon.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Reb said...

Hey Neil - it's different and yummy, both imperatives of cooking and eating:)

Oooo whole spit roasted ... Yum Ed. It's supposedly the most consumed meat in the world, so i don't know why we don't eat more of it.

1:22 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I was recently talking to a Greek friend about goat meat. I've only eaten goat twice and it was good both times. Once was in a Greek restaurant, and the second time was recently at a Nepalese restaurant where it was in a curry. Very tender and flavoursome.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Reb said...

It certainly is good Thanh. And the Nepalese do it to perfection.

7:06 AM  

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