Monday, January 31, 2011

Got Your Goat

In To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch says, "No matter what anybody says to you, don't you let 'em get your goat."  This is good advice in life and good advice at the grocery store.  If you find goat in your meat section, like I did this week, don't let anyone else get YOUR goat.  Make sure you get it yourself because it is delicious and will not always be available.  Despite the meat making inroads into American cuisine, it is still difficult to find, so snatch it up while you can. 

Goat is a mainstay of Greek, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean diets, and is lower in fat than both chicken and beef while containing more iron than both.  The chops I found came bone-in and, in comparison to $5.29 a pound for chicken breasts, were reasonably priced at $3.49 a pound.  Goat meat needs to be cooked low and slow, and marinated beforehand to cut down on the gamey flavor.  Here's what I did to mine:

Defrost and cut into bite-sized pieces, removing the bones.
Place meat in a bowl with 1/2 cup lemon juice, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Add 1 tablespoon of curry if you'd like it spicy.
Marinate at least two hours, overnight is better.
Remove the meat and reserve the marinade.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan until shimmering, add the meat and brown on all sides.
Place meat in slow cooker along with reserved marinade, 1 cup apple sauce, and one chopped tomato.
Cook on the low setting for 8 hours or on the high setting for four hours.
Serve with rice or noodles.

Goat tastes a lot like venison or lamb, only muskier, with an aroma to match -- the house smelled strongly like cooked meat for a few days.  The dish tasted wonderful, though, and something I would gladly prepare and eat again.  You, too, should take the opportunity to try something new.  Go get your goat!

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