While there is a much higher selection of exotic meats in the modern supermarket, few people have ever seen a commercially packaged cut of goat meat. Goat meat is, in fact, quite difficult to find. Most goat meat is sold by small, independent goat farmers, and the quality will vary a great deal. It can also be a challenge to find recipes that give good indications of how to properly prepare goat. Despite wide-spread prejudice against the breed, goat can be an appealing and delicious source of protein if properly raised and prepared.
Selecting Goat Meat
While the cooking process can bring out the best in goat meat, nothing can adequately compensate for, or mask the flavor of, poorly raised goat meat. Specific breeds are more ideal for meat use, though dairy goat breeds can be good as well. Either way, all male goats intended for meat production should be immediately removed of their sex organs. In goats, the male hormones make goat meat completely inedible. In addition, females should be penned far away from any fertile males, for this same reason. The smell and flavor will infiltrate not only meat, but milk as well. Goat meat should also be processed carefully, ensuring that goat hair does not come into contact with the meat. If you are particularly discerning, you may even want to visit the farm that raises your goat meat to see how clean the farm is for meat production.
Stew is a very common way to prepare all types of meat, including goat. Stew takes advantage of the deep flavor of goat meat, while marrying it with other complementary vegetables and spices. If you can not find a recipe that is specifically geared to goat meat, you can adapt almost any mutton stew to use goat or use this general goat stew recipe.
1. Cut goat meat into stew chunks, if the meat is not already prepared.
2. Place oil in a deep skillet and brown goat meat for several minutes.
3. Add onion and celery to the hot oil, allowing them to wilt. Garlic may also be added at this time, if desired.
4. Cover with broth. For a milder stew, use chicken or vegetable broth. For a heartier flavor, beef broth is suitable.
5. Add the remaining vegetables at this time. Traditional stew vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and turnips are preferred.
6. Boil on medium heat until the vegetables are tender.
7. Thicken stew, if necessary, with a bit of cornstarch or flour.
8. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Other seasonings may be added as well. Many recipes pair goat meat with a traditional curry mix, for example.
Goat, like any other type of meat, can be roasted as well. Preparing a goat roast is similar to cooking lamb, beef or mutton. Again, most mutton roast techniques can be adapted for goat meat.
1. Cover goat roast with a simple marinade or a dry rub. Again, curry flavorings are a nice match for goat meat.
2. Place in a large roasting dish, providing plenty of room for air circulation.
3. Add any complementary vegetables, such as onion, potatoes or carrots.
4. Roast slowly; an oven temperature of about 300 to 325 degrees for about 2 hours should do the trick.
Goat meat can also be barbecued, surprisingly. For the best results, you should baste the goat frequently to ensure that it doesn’t dry out. A vinegar-mustard sauce makes a nice glaze for the grilled goat meat. Goat can also be wrapped in leaves or burlap and roasted directly in the middle of a fire pit for a more rustic presentation.