Goat Cuisine

Goat meat is something of a rarity, or it has been up until now.  Sure, there’s goat milk and butter on the chiller shelves, but even that’s been a long time coming.  Often popping up on menus of chefs who know how to please, (including my gastro local The Smokehouse) this meat is available for people to cook at home.

You may have tried it before, but for those who don’t live near an ethnic butcher stocking pork alternatives, online supermarket retailer Ocado have a range of products from Cabrito Goat Meat, who source from dairy farmers across the south-west.

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From shanks to sausages, meatballs to mince, this low in fat, iron-rich and potassium stuffed meat is a must.  Goat is a worldwide staple, it’s the only meat that’s not forbidden by any mainstream religion and can be both Kosher and Halal.

Farmers who milk their herd, kill their billy goats, females are only useful for milk and cheese.  Cabrito saves and supplies these and DEFRA, the Government Department of Agriculture, estimates that some 30,000 infants Billy Goats are killed at birth each year. For ethical reasons alone if we begin to demand goat meat, this number could be rapidly reduced.  Kids are comparatively expensive to keep, they don’t eat grass, and are fed on a powdered milk substitute.

In their bid to cut down on food waste, Jamie Oliver and his sidekick Jimmy is focusing on goat meat in their Friday Night Feast series and there’s a great recipe here for at Kid Burger.  I was sent a few cuts – chops, shanks, mince and diced lamb.

I had dates leftover from Christmas and a cupboard full of spices, so it was obvious that I give the shanks a Moroccan twist.

Ingredients

2 goat shanks
3 tbsp olive oil
400g tinned chickpeas
3 crushed cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp of paprika
1/4 tsp of ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3tbsp tomato paste
Pinch of salt & pepper and extra for seasoning goat shanks.
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 litre of water
45g chopped dates
1/2 lemon, cut into wedges

Method

Make a paste with the garlic, paprika, ginger, coriander, nutmeg, tomato paste, lemon juice, cloves and salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a lidded large cooking pot over a medium heat.   Season the goat shanks with salt and pepper.  Cook the shanks in the pot until golden on both sides.  Transfer the shanks to the plate.

Add the onion and celery to the pot, add a little more oil if needed and cook until golden brown being careful not to burn.  Add the spice paste and cook for a few minutes.  Add the chickpeas and water, turn the heat down and simmer for around 45 minutes.  Then add the  goat and cinnamon.

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Heat the oven to 160°C or gas mark 3 (350°F).  Cover the pot and transfer to the hot oven. Cook until the shanks are tender which will be around the 2 hours and 30 minutes mark. At this time, add the dates and cook for a further 15 minutes.  Skim any fat and remove.

Serve with couscous and the lemon wedges.