Many Australians not of Mediterranean descent would have grown up thinking of goat as a meat that could be used for making a spicy dish in the tradition of the Indian sub-continent. Until recently, that was certainly my assumption but the emerging popularity of cuisines such as Spanish and Moroccan has introduced me to ways of cooking goat that better suit the culinary inclinations in our kitchen. At the same time, there has been an increase in the availability and quality of goat meat, at least in Melbourne.
Maggie and I have cooked goat a few times, initially in a spicy dish and then, with more success, using a recipe for a Spanish style of dish. In 2012, we bought Patrizia Simone’s wonderful book, My Umbrian kitchen, and tried out her goat recipe. The result was quite agreeable but, for our second attempt, we made several modifications that refined it to produce a dish with show-offs’ dinner-party qualities.
1.5kg pieces of shoulder of kid on the bone (ours was supplied by Cester’s at Prahran Market) (this will be enough to feed four persons)
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf, cut into four pieces
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
small handful sage leaves
a few fronds of wild fennel
125ml olive oil
200ml dry white wine
½ tsp caster sugar
½ tsp each of salt and pepper
100g butter, softened
2 handfuls of fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, sage, rosemary, mint, tarragon), finely chopped
salt and pepper
1½ cups of chicken stock
1 cup tomato passata
1/8 tsp chilli flakes or 1 whole red chilli
- Combine marinade ingredients in a large flat-bottomed ceramic dish, taste the marinade and adjust seasoning and oil/wine balance. Add goat pieces, turn pieces to coat thoroughly, cover tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate for up to 48 hours.
- When you are ready to cook the goat, remove dish from refrigerator one hour before cooking and, 45 minutes later, heat oven to 175C. Remove each goat piece from the marinade, brush off garlic and herbs and place on a platter.
- Place half of the goat pieces in a roasting pan and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes. Transfer goat to the platter. Repeat with remaining pieces of goat. Reduce oven temperature to 150C.
- Combine butter, chopped herbs and a generous pinch of salt and pepper to make a thick paste. Rub the paste into the surface of the goat meat, ie not the bones, etc.
- Place the goat pieces in a casserole dish wide enough to fit them snugly in one layer. Add the stock and passata, cover and cook in the oven for between 1½ and 2 hours, depending on how long it takes for the goat to become tender. Turn the meat once or twice during the cooking and reduce the temperature slightly if the liquid is bubbling too briskly.
- Increase the oven temperature to 175C, transfer the goat pieces to a roasting pan and bake for about 10 minutes to caramelise the meat.
- Meanwhile, strain the cooking liquid into a saucepan and use a soup spoon to remove most of the fats on the surface. Reduce liquid briefly and thicken slightly with cornflour. Serve goat pieces with your preferred side dishes – we would choose some of potato, carrot, peas and beans – then ladle the sauce over the goat.
The first photo shows the pieces of goat ready to be roasted the first time. The second photo shows the braised goat ready to be removed and roasted briefly while the sauce is made.