There comes a time in every young person’s life when his or her father says to them, “My cousin has a lot of extra goat meat she’s trying to get rid of… Do you want any?”
Try to stay with me, here.
True story, if you grow up in the relatively rural Midwest, you’re probably familiar with the concept of the county fair and the 4H program. Kids raise animals for meat or eggs, or whatever the case may be. (Ok, so my description here is going to be limited because I was never an actual participant in this program – just fortunate enough to be acquainted with some folks who were participants.) So anyways, they slave away taking great care of their animal, loving it, feeding it, learning to be responsible, etc. Then they bring it to the fair and compete to see who has raised the best animal. After the competition, they get to sell their animal to the highest bidder, it is then sent to be butchered, and the packaged meat is given to the meat-buyer!
Enter… my goat meat.
Buying an entire animal usually results in one having a lot of extra meat. In this particular case, we were gifted some goat chops (or at least that’s what I’m calling these), some “goat snack sticks” which appear to be some sort of jerky that I have not yet tried, and some various forms of lamb that I’ve also yet to prepare.
“So… ” my mom says, “A goat is just an adult lamb, right?” My mom did not grow up raising animals in the rural Midwest. We clarified that point of confusion and moved on.
Ok, but let’s be serious, I’m not a goat expert either. I’ve never had goat before, and I didn’t know if the meat would have a distinctive taste, but I’m not all that adventurous, so I figured I’d better find a recipe that included a lot of big flavors so I wouldn’t be weirded out if my meat didn’t taste like the meat I’m used to. (Let me ease into this.)
We started with some hot oil in a Dutch oven and just browned the chops on all sides. We then removed them from the pan and set them aside while we moved on to the next steps.
Using the same pan, we sauteed lots and lots of onions until they were soft and browned.
To the softened onions, we added some garlic, fresh ginger, fennel seeds, coriander, cumin, mustard seeds, cardamom, and cayenne.
At this point, the goat chops are added back to the pan along with some crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. (I suppose every type of meat can tolerate being cooked in chicken broth? Or perhaps this was just the recommendation since goat broth is tragically not commercially available?)
In any case, now it’s time to cover the pan and pop the whole ensemble into the oven for about two and a half hours. When it’s finally time to remove it, the meat is super tender and the sauce has thickened significantly.
I was blown away by how much I liked it! I can officially recommend goat meat. (At least when it’s prepared like this, I can.) It literally fell off the bone. The sauce was spicy and flavorful, and the meat was tender. To me, the flavor was fairly beef-like.
I can’t tell you exactly how to procure your own goat meat, but should you happen to stumble across any, I suggest you test this recipe.
You can find a link to it at Epicurious: Braised Goat with Tomato and Coriander.