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Mutton is to lamb = Goat is to....

Kid, or kid goat, right? Mostly male?
I've never had kid goat, let alone adult goat meat. What's the taste difference?

Since I prefer lamb to mutton, may I assume I'll like kid goat better than an adult goat?

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  1. Tastes like lamb or a not too gamy venison. I haven't tried any kid, just chevon, perhaps because of the size and yield (meat production). Very lean.

    1. Can't do the analogy, but goat tastes similar to lamb.

      8 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        Is there a reason we see so much lamb and virtually no kid? Doesn't taste as good as lamb, I suppose? Any other reasons?

        1. re: grocerytrekker

          I think it's because there isn't much meat on a kid; there's a lot of bone. Even when you get goat at a restaurant it's often served in bone-in chunks. You don't see too many goat chops or boneless goat legs.

          1. re: grocerytrekker

            Kid is absolutely delicious, a very delicate & lean meat. Kid roasted over an open spit is a regional delicacy in Nuevo Leon & Texas... those in the know, know what I am talking about.

            Why is lamb more popular than kid? Kid is usually roasted whole http://www.nl.gob.mx/pics/pages/tur_s... I don't know what cuts could be successfully commercially exploited like lamb chops etc.,

            Although now that I remember, I believe I had a roasted kid shank at L'Empero in Murray Hill... probably the most upscale Italian restaurant in Manhattan.

            Anyway... as many products as we get in our store shelves, its not a perfectly efficient market.

            Why do you only find Italian Zucchini when the Mexican Zucchini (Courgets) is superior on every dimension?

            Why do Andean peoples eat Cuy (Guinea Pig) instead of Rabbit (which would substantially less expensive per yield)?

            Why are pomegranates so hot now... and virtually unknown in the U.S. 10 years ago? Why hadn't any of use heard of Acai 5 years ago?

            1. re: Eat_Nopal

              Cabrito splayed on a rack over mesquite coals...EN, I know what you're talking about. I first had it on a ranch in Webb County, outside Laredo. It was my favorite meal, ever.

            2. re: grocerytrekker

              I think it is probably also cultural - goat is consumed in Europe but predominantly in the Middle East, Africa and Asia (and Sth America? - I must confess to some ignorance here). I think lamb is a WEstern Europe (and all countries influenced by it during the early twentieth century) favourite (not that it isn't consumed in many other countries but bare with me for a sec...). Lamb is a relatively modern preference - previously most sheep consumed was either mutton or two-toothers (and this remains predominant in many of the regions I excluded from popular lamb consumption). So I guess what I'm getting at is given time goat too (and kid) will probably rise in the culinary popularity stakes of America etc.

              1. re: irisav

                It is highly produced in the southern states, and can probably be found easily in a Latino market in any major city.

              2. re: grocerytrekker

                Do you think this is why goat is so enjoyable when introduced to it as part of a middle eastern, SE asian or african meal? That is when the gamey goat is encountered as a Rendang (dry curry in Malaysia/Indonesia) or tangine or braise all of which par the meat with delicious and big flavoured spices then cook it slowly.

            3. Mutton is to lamb as watermelon is to fire hydrant. Try to figure out that analogy. I just had a flashback of High school SAT's. In all seriousness, if you decide to try goat, it's best you try a young goat as opposed to an older goat. Goat is gamier than lamb. At Easter, I purchase baby lamb or baby goat...whatever looks better. The colors and textures of the meat are very similar, as is the taste. (One year I didn't mention I purchased baby goat and nobody recognized the difference). The baby goat tastes very slightly gamey, but as the animal ages the gamey taste becomes more intense. The price per pound for baby goat or baby lamb is significantly more than that for mutton. A great size baby lamb or goat is anywhere from eight to twelve pounds for the whole carcass. As another poster noted, the animal hasn't developed a whole lot of muscle yet (or fat), which means it doesn't yield a whole lot of meat. The allure then is the *taste* of the meat, albeit little, and it's incredible tenderness. This is true for both lamb and goat. If you can find it, try it. Best time is around mid-March to mid-April to find baby lamb or baby goat. Try it roasted with herbs.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Cheese Boy

                Ahh! my reply to your post somehow posted itself as a reply to grocery trekker - it's the one about gamey goat

              2. I have gathered the following (incomplete) info.

                Kid goat slaughtered for meat (6 weeks – 4 months) weight?
                “Milk lamb” slaughtered before being weaned (agnelet) 30 – 40 days old, 18 – 22 lb
                Agneau blanc or laiton (Christmas to June) 70 – 150 days old , 45 to 56 lb
                “Grazing lamb” (broutart) 6 – 9 months, 67 to 90 lb
                Mutton (castrated male sheep over a year old, or rams or ewes which are said to be of lower quality) weight?

                1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goat

                  >> Female goats are referred to as does or nannies, intact males as bucks or billies; their offspring are kids. Castrated males are wethers. __Goat meat is sometimes called chevon.__

                  One must take into account that goat isn't all that popular of eats, because most goats are left to do the lawn mowing and lot cleaning. (I know bad joke) ;-)

                    1. re: Candy

                      Not too long ago I had barbacoa at El Huarache Azteca in Fruitvale, Oakland. Really cool wall murals. Loved their huarache - the biggest 'sope' I had ever seen. Different, deceptively simple and delicious. The barbacoa I had was lamb. Wonder if I missed having goat there?

                      1. re: grocerytrekker

                        Probably not, its typically Oaxacan places where you see goat used in Barbacoa.

                    2. Kid.

                      I had a great dish many years at the now-defunct Peasant Stock restaurant in Cambridge, MA: Roast Puerto Rican Kid. That's exactly how it was listed on the menu. Tasty, and yet evocative of a most politically-incorrect grin ;-)

                      1. At my small local butcher goat is exactly the same price as lamb. They cater to many people from the Middle East who prefer goat. I like the taste, I find it less gamey than lamb with a cleaner flavor, much more lean and less tender. In a curry or casserole, it has wonderful flavor. We tried grilling it but found it too chewy for high-heat cooking. We've smoked it with some success - again, it's very chewy with little fat so cooking method is critical.

                        1. I thought both goat and kid had to be labelled as chevron in the US per the food regulators, making it hard to distinguish by label.

                          1. Kid, at its best, is served roasted with the skin, IMO. I've had fantastic roast kid in Bergamo, Italy, served with polenta (the combo is a true local specialty), as well as at a Corsican restaurant in Paris.


                            1. Goat is popular meat in the Middle East and India. And, you haven't lived until you've eaten Goat Brain Curry - gross though it might sound it is exquisitely delicious (Is there a Mutton Brain Curry or Lamb Brain Curry?).

                              As an aside, traveling in the middle east around Tunisia around Id and seeing all those bleating goats at the roadside waiting to be slaughtered almost turned me into a vegetarian. Fortunately, the momentary weakness passed and I remain a devoted eater of everything.

                              1. We used to raise goats - just a few, for milk mainly. We had no use for the males since we took our does out to be bred when the time came. The bucks are very smelly and can get aggressive. So...young male kids were butchered at 5 or 6 months. The meat is tender and delicious and similar to lamb, but maybe just a bit gamier. We used it the same way we would use lamb and it made a killer moussaka.

                                When I served it for dinner, I told our children we were eating, um, "chops" or "stew" or something. They only found out 2 or 3 years ago what really happened. Even at the ripe old age of 20-ish, they are horrified and have not let us forget how badly they feel betrayed by this deception.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Nyleve

                                  While on vacation we were served a delicious curried goat for dinner and told the kids it was roast beast. Didn't want to out and out lie...the kids figured we were amusing ourselves & thought ourselves funny and ignored us. Everyone loved it and we later told them the truth. Some laughed upon learning the truth, others looked a bit fragile, if only for a moment. They still refer to it sometimes and ask if a covered pot on the stove is tonight's "roast beast".

                                  That is the one and only time we did something like that to them, though. We knew they wouldn't really mind, being adventuresome enough, but also didn't want them to decide not to like it before tasting.

                                  1. re: xena

                                    One of the outstanding Portuguese places in NY (Long Island), CHURRESQUARIA BAIRRADA in Mineola, has Roast Kid with Red Wine Sauce on their menu and it is bloody-good.

                                    Pair it up with half a "frango" (charcoal BBQ chicken) and enjoy.

                                    1. re: xena

                                      I am now a firm advocate of full disclosure when it comes to food. I only lied about the meat when the kids were small because, well, I knew that they'd have a total fit if they knew we were eating their pets. Of course, I've only postponed their anger which they now take every opportunity to unleash upon us, and more articulately now that they are adults.

                                  2. Sheep meat is fattier meat than of goat (I'm saying sheep, because a lot of grown up sheep in the US is also sold as 'lamb', since mutton is not as popular). Goat is also an inferior meat because of non-discriminatory eating habits of goats. And they DO taste different - I can tell the difference. It infuriates me when a lot of South Asian places sell goat as lamb and tell me 'it's the same thing'. It's not the same!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: welle

                                      Disagreed, I find Goat to often be superior to Lamb.

                                    2. Does anyone know where to find goat meat? I love it but can't locate it anywhere. Even online would be fantastic! Thanks!

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: NoelleAsh

                                        If there's a halal butcher or asian market near you, they might have it.

                                        1. re: Humbucker

                                          Here in Pasadena, it's the Latino markets that regularly have it, sold as chivo. It was interesting for me to read the commentary above about goat being sold as lamb: my nearby market is likely to sell them both (plus mutton) as chivo, since the meat is all treated the same way by their customers. I've seen lamb breast, mutton stew meat and chunks of goat, all labelled correctly in English, but the Spanish label for both says "chivo".

                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                            It may be reflecting the regulatory demands to label all as chevron in English....

                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                              Good info.... Chivo is basically old goat. Cabrito is kid. In Pasadena, your most likely suspects are buying it to make birria. In Guadalajara, the birria capital... goat (nice gamey, tough goat) is the well appreciated for birria, hence the incentive to mislabel it the other way.

                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                Over five years later, EN, I've had plenty of chances to eat birria de chivo, and usually take them. All good! There's a swell little joint just a few blocks from us here in Pasadena that has a goat plate on the menu every day, and it's about the best thing they serve.

                                        2. Someone already said it, but the answer is cabrito. For some pictures, go here:


                                          1 Reply
                                          1. For those of you in the SF Bay Area, a lady at my bank told me that the Pakistani restaurant Kabana offers good goat curry as weekend specials. Also, you can buy goat meat at Halal Food Market (San Pablo & University), freshly delivered on Wednesdays. (Possibly some other day too, but she wasn't sure about that.)

                                            Halal Food Market
                                            1964 San Pablo Ave
                                            Berkeley, CA 94702
                                            (510) 845-2000

                                            A review of Kabana from a while ago: (it mentions goat curry)

                                            1. I agree with everyone who says that goat is generally gamier than sheep (certainly factors like age and male/female come into play). However, I disagree with the negative connotation that "gamey" seems to have. I think gamey meat is more flavorful and just meatier.
                                              So, when I can find it, it definitely prefer goat to sheep (although sheep is also quite tasty).

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: smrits

                                                Yes, that's why I prefer the "gamier" parts of lamb, such as necks and shanks. All of the goat I've had in both Mexican and Indian restaurants has been stewed grownups, not barbecued babies, and I've loved every bite!

                                              2. cabrito, is what you should look for. go to mexican grocery stores. Mutton is much more gamey than lamb, the same goes for goat!

                                                1. I don't eat much meat and have never cooked goat--but I had the occasion to eat a goat roti in the Caribbean and it was very tasty

                                                  1. I think goat is just hard to find, its pretty big in the Greek comunity here in chicago but you can only really find it fresh in spring due to the seasonal mating habits of goats and the fact that people tend to eat the kids. Its traditionally served for Easter in Greek households and one year my friend got a visit from the cops when they were roasting a whole goat(kid) in the backyard...turns out the neighbors thought she was roasting a dog.

                                                    1. Actually, goat is wonderful. It's hard to find, and you generally want one under a year old.
                                                      USDA is occasionally availble directly through farms. The meat dry's out easily and is always better when cooked with moist heat or marinated. I really like it cooked with fruits like orange sauce, pineapple roasted kabobs, etc. It's very lean, low in calories and fat. Excellent gourmet type addition to meals.

                                                      1. I'm sorry, I don't know where you are located, so i can't get you some specific local breeders/farms to suggest, but many breeders to sell mail order online.

                                                        I have some former goat affiliation as I raised and competed with Lamancha dairy goats for many years, although I am currently goat free. I was also the goat queen of Kansas many moons ago, so got involved quite a bit with marketing the product.
                                                        But it has come a looong way since then.
                                                        Langston University in Oklahoma has a massive research facility for meat goats, and if you can't find a local supplier I'm sure they could assist you, as could the ADGA (American Dairy Goat Association).
                                                        Something to keep in mind when buying goat, however, is that much like cattle, there are beef goat breeds, and dairy breeds (also hair breeds). This means that the goat you purchase could have significantly different muscling, weight and price. Meat goats are raised for the meat market, and in the U.S. will usually be of the Boer variety or a Boer cross. Dairy goat wethers (castrated male goats) are basically a by-product of the dairy goat industry and often go for cheaper prices simply because they are going to have the flat-boned lightly muscled dairy characteristics over the heavier meat goat characteristics.

                                                        1. In South Asia and the Arabian Gulf, people refer to goat as "mutton" in English, but they really mean goat, not lamb. It is that way on all menus, labeled that way at the supermarket, too. But lamb is labeled as lamb.

                                                          I keep reading above that goat is popular in The Middle East. That isn't entirely true. In many countries, lamb is the meat of choice. North Africa, the Levantine countries, they are all lamb eaters, not goat people. The Gulf people are into goat though. Goat is definately popular in South Asia, too.

                                                          I happen to prefer goat myself. For stateside goat seekers, South Asian, halaal and also Mexican markets have goat. If you have never used it before, just know that for curries and so forth your should brown it in the pan first, then cook whatever curry/gravy you are doing, then add in the goat, allow to come to a boil, then simmer on very low heat for about 1 hr 15 mins to 1 1/2 hrs. The goat will be sooo tender and delicious...buy it on the bone and keep it that way, it is meant to be pulled off of the bone, and you can suck the bones, too. So delicious. If you don't slow simmer, it will be tough.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: luckyfatima

                                                            I'm African-American and from Alabama originally. We are definitely goat people. It has been a long-held tradition that the men in our family would go buy a live goat on July 4th and slaughter it in the back yard. Then they dress it and put it on the bbq pit. The meat was kept moist by basting it with a vinegar based mopping solution. Talk about GOOD!!!

                                                            Although I've never gone with them, I know that they bought the goats locally and there has never seemed to be a problem with finding any to buy.

                                                            1. re: SoulFoodie

                                                              Hear, hear... goat is why god invented BBQ. There is a great place in Oakland, CA at the base of the Bay Bridge, Doug's I think, that serves an amazing goat dish, spicy enough to cause halucinations.
                                                              Recently we've had a large influx of people from Somalia here in Vermont and a few of the local farmers have started raising goats just for this new market.

                                                            2. re: luckyfatima

                                                              Boy am I glad I read this post
                                                              luckyfatima, you've convinced me to try the goat dish at a local restaurant. The menu says Indiana Goat, Coconut curry, and vegetables
                                                              "Tender and delicious" - how could I resist?

                                                              Any suggestions for a wine to go with?

                                                              1. re: Cookiefiend

                                                                Sounds absolutely delicious.

                                                                Sorry though, I don't drink so I am clueless about wine suggestions.

                                                                I do hope u try and enjoy the goat though.

                                                            3. The taste difference between goat and lamb is substantial, and one reason might be that goats aren't as widely (read: industrially, mass) bred as sheep are... and so somehow they are more "natural" and perhaps richer tasting, definitely gamier, even if they are leaner.

                                                              Here in Montreal I stumbled on fresh local halal goat meat and was fortunate to meet a Jamaican grandmother in the shop who scribbled down her family's take on the beloved Jamaican dish: Curried Goat. (she added a bit of mustard seed, thyme, hot pepper rings and a bit of brown sugar, and advised a splash of rum which I omitted for lack of inventory).

                                                              Let me tell you, this was exquisite. It is true that goat is very bony, and I used bone-in small pieced meat... The bone adds much flavor, and eating the meat off the bone is part of the pleasure -- in that get-your-hands-dirty kind of way.

                                                              My family was evenly split between "really liking" and "really not liking" the curried goat dish; then again, that's pretty much true of lamb and other gamy meats.

                                                              Find and cook goat -- lie to your kids if you have to about what it is. Oh, and veggies like potato, turnip and celery root are wonderful complements in the dutch oven or baking dish.

                                                              1. Europeans generally had colder weather and more need for wool. Goat is delicious, but sheep are far more docile to raise than goats, which climb or jump a lot. Sheep also are more of a wet climate animal, preferring grass, as opposed to the omnivorous goat, eating everything around. Sheep and other livestock were often brought into the hovel or one room home of poor families lacking barns, before modern heating, both to keep the livestock from freezing, and their body heat kept the hovel warm. A dairy cow, sheep or chicken would be tolerable, but a goat would eat on fabrics and even wood and be very active. Goats are tough and more likely to survive where drier conditions offer little natural grass. Think of green alpine hillsides, you would see cattle and sheep being raised, goats where conditions are warmer and grass is scarce.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: esurfergrl

                                                                  Well, you had me until you mentioned the Alps. All I could think of was Heidi and her grandfather's goats.

                                                                  1. re: esurfergrl

                                                                    For what it's worth, we raised "meat goats" for years (mostly Boer cross billies crossed with Spanish nannies) and while they ARE a pain when it comes to escape and their preference for any decorative plants (oh, the hundreds of dollars of roses, photinias and euonymus those rotten animals ate - not to mention their love of the neighbors wheat field, which resulted in his poisoning one of our beloved Pyrenees guardian dogs, r.i.p, Sassy)... they really don't eat "anything" such as fabric or wood - they graze on a variety of grasses and trees (and shrubs, obviously) but the stereotype of the goat with a tin can (or anything else generally considered non-edible) is something I'd never seen.

                                                                    Their true disadvantage comes from their "intelligence" (I use that loosely) and ability to get out of fences. Any fences. Did I mention how much I hated those _____ goats?