13 June 2012

Roast Goat Leg

I could call it cosciotto di capretto, but it's just a goat leg. To be more specific, this is the foreleg, shoulder, and ribs of a kid goat from a halal butcher. I don't do a lot of halal cooking, but there's not a lot of other sources for goat around here. Thanks to the Cordova international market, I'm now always a ten minute walk away from such ingredients.

Goat may seem exotic, but it's the most widely eaten meat in the world, and before you quibble, remember that the world includes a lot of places that don't have an Applebee's. There's no major religion with an objection to goat meat, they're not as expensive or labor intensive as cattle, and while they don't eat tin cans, they can survive on scrubland and other harsh environments. They're a good source of meat, leather, milk, wool, and more. Plus, when you're doing subsistence farming, it's easier for one farmer to pick up a goat as opposed to a fully-grown sow or heifer.

I rinsed the leg and marinated it in Wicker's for several hours. Kid goat is pretty tender, but you still want a little acid bath to help it out. I then rubbed it down with a mixture of garlic, olive oil, salt, and a Madras curry blend. Time to fire up the Weber grill...

Using indirect heat and just a little mesquite, I slow roasted the goat on a hot Sunday afternoon for about three hours. The easiest way to cook goat is to chop it all up and stew it forever with a bunch of vegetables. I've had it like that, but the first time I ever ate goat was at a BBQ back when I was a kid. There was a decent amount of fat on this leg, and I wanted to treat it more like a leg of lamb. After all, the two species are closely related, though there are some theological differences between them.

The final product was not gamey, but mildly earthy and aromatic. If anything, it's somewhere between pork and lamb. The meat was tender and juicy, and though I chopped off a few chunks to eat right away, the rest went into taco form with homemade salsa verde. Great combination.

My only complaint is that there's not a lot of meat on this leg, and it's a little difficult to get it all off (hence why stewing is so popular). The whole thing weighed two pounds, cost me $12, and was a lot of fun, but I ended up with about a pound of meat after all the digging and scraping. Unlike pork, the ribs don't offer a lot of succulent meat. Don't let that discourage you, though. Take an opportunity to connect with the rest of the world and serve a healthy, sustainable form of protein on the dinner table.

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