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Cooking goat for the first time: Any tips?

Calling all "goat" experts!

There was a special on goat at the market today, so I bought some breast, cut-up into chunks for stewing. The meat is frozen. Though I'm not sure, it appears that the skin (is that what you call it?) is still on.

I've never prepared goat before. It's been a over a decade since I've had goat and can't remember if it has any strong odours or flavours.
If so, would soaking the meat in milk (a la lamb) diffuse the gaminess?

Should I remove and discard the skin?

Also, the meat looks very lean, so I'm guessing that the best way to prepare it is to treat it like tough cuts of meat by stewing. If I do this, should I simmer it on low heat or use the pressure cooker?

Any other tips related to preparing goat would be most appreciated.

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  1. Hi Diva,
    a friend of mine made curried goat a couple of weeks ago w/rice and peas. It was delicious(and easy to make). You can find the recipe at islandflave.com/recipes under the Jamaica tab. It def needs a good simmer-the recipe says hour and a half, but I would do at least 2(more if it needs it). Haven't really found the goat in the States to be gamey at all, so that shouldn't be a problem. Hope this helps-save me a plate :)

    1. I'd treat it pretty much like lamb - although if you already find lamb to be "gamey" for your taste, then you'll probably find goat is more so.

      I love its taste - the stronger taste the better.

      1. I love goat--I don't find it gamey at all, indeed I find it quite mild and it really soaks in the flavors it's cooked with. If you are referring to silverskin, I would remove it. I very recently made a wonderful curry goat--used the linked recipe as a guide (didn't use sugar and potatoes, and used more scotch bonnet, we like it hot). http://recipes.caribseek.com/Jamaica/...

        1. I saw some nice looking goat in a Caribbean market a couple of weeks ago and made an impulse buy. I made goat curry using a blend of recipes found on-line and it was delicious.
          I wouldn't bother soaking in milk, but most of the recipes have the goat 'marinating' in seasonings (like allspice, lime juice, garlic, scotch bonnet, etc) from an hour to overnight. I think this is the way to go.
          As Marge says, it may be silverskin, yeah take it off.
          And yes, stew it somehow.

          Most of the goat I see is rife with bone, but I feel this adds flavor and consistency to the stew/curry. If you have bone, keep it in

          Let us know how it comes out!

          1. Thanks for the links, Luvfriedokra and Marge. I made a stew adapted from the recipes found at the links you gave (i.e. used chopped tomatoes instead of ketchup, no potatoes, and less sugar).

            Just as you said, the goat stew/curry was divine. I found it to be very different from lamb in that it wasn't gamey at all. Actually, I'm in Canada our winter has been colder than usual. So, the stew was the perfect comfort food --- spicy and aromatic it warmed us up! The stew tasted even better the next day once the flavours melded together.

            I also like the fact that the goat was so lean yet tenderized with no problem with slow and low-heat cooking.

            I'm going back to the market today to buy more and freeze it for later use.

            11 Replies
            1. re: DishyDiva

              Glad you enjoyed DD! With bone-in goat, I've also made terrific osso bucco--since the meat is so lean, there was no greasiness that you sometimes get with veal or lamb. Winter has been colder than usual here in NY too...hmm...there's a package of goat stew meat and one of ground goat in my freezer.....

              1. re: Marge

                Ooohh, I like the idea of making osso bucco style with goat. Definitely next on my "to do" list.

                I agree also with your point about leaving the bone-in. Personally, I think all meats (chicken, beef, lamb, and pork) taste better cooked with the bone which provide deeper, richer flavours.

              2. re: DishyDiva

                Glad your goat came out nice-and I'm glad I could give someone a rec for cooking goat. Most people look at me like I've got two heads when I talk about goat stew!!

                1. re: Luvfriedokra

                  I know what you mean, LFD. As one of the first animals to be domesticated, goat has been popular world-wide for millennia (as a source of milk, meat and hide) , more so than any other animal. Yet, here in the New World it's generally shunned, which is a shame. I'm definitely now a fan of goat.

                  (Having said this, I can't bring myself to eating other fare like rabbit, venison or horse!)

                  1. re: DishyDiva

                    Oh my, I might from at this point be the most unpopular person. But, we had a goat "Trouble" who was my children's best friend until our Hespahic field workers decided he would be a great "celebration." Ok folks, you can say or do want you want with my input however that was over 20 years ago and it is still a big deal to my family

                      1. re: amazing grace

                        Oh that is so sad, Grace! I can certainly understand. In fact, something similar happened to my Mom (a devoted animal lover and vegetarian) who had a pet squirrel that she found as an injured baby and nursed back to health for about a year. Because it was wartime and meat was extremely scarce, a neighbour snatched her squirrel for dinner. To this day, she can't talk about it without crying.

                        But, I digress from the topic of this thread...

                    1. re: Luvfriedokra

                      Living near Montreal, I've always seen goat being sold but mostly in ethnic markets (Caribbean, Italian, Far East, etc).
                      I frequently drive over the border to upstate NY and recently began seeing goat in the likes of PriceChopper and Hannaford, mainstream chain groceries.
                      I always figured upstate NY to be quite conservative with strictly beef and pork consumers (OK, perhaps a narrow view). But this emergence of goat got me thinking...theres not much in the way of ethnic markets in these parts, so the groceries are either catering to a segment of customers, or are offering goat as a cheaper alternative to beef (the goat there is relatively inexpensive).
                      Either way, its good to see diversity.

                      1. re: porker

                        Pretty much the same in north west England - goat has always been around in Caribbean/Asian outlets but recently it's available at a local farmers market - meat and cheese. It hasnt yet made it to our main supermarkets and I think it unlikely it will considering our lamb consumption.

                        My brother in law orginates from Mallorca where it is a quite common meat. In fact, he shoots mountain goat when he goes home and tells me that it is legal to do so as ownership cannot be proved. I think he lies and is just poaching. I love this just plain roasted - like a leg or shoulder of lamb but much stronger in taste.

                        1. re: Harters

                          You say that the roasted goat leg/shoulder is stronger in taste than lamb? Is this because the goats are more mature when they're slaughtered in your region?

                          When researching online about goat, I read that goat in North America are much milder in taste because they haven't matured fully. This would explain why the goat I bought didn't have any strong, gamey flavours -- in fact it was far milder than lamb. My hubby and kids won't eat lamb because they don't like the "smell" but they had no problem with the goat I just made.

                          1. re: DishyDiva

                            I'm not so sure if it's about maturity as opposed to their raising.

                            The goats in Mallorca are mountain animals so might be expected tp have developed taste from what they eat and their "general life". Goat in the UK tends to be lowland farmed so, whilst it's likely to be free-range, it's probably had a softer life - if you see what I mean. Also, if the brother in law goes out and shoots a goat, he doesnt know how old it is so, it may well be that I'm eating older animals (although I'd say pretty much the same about restaurant goat in Spain)

                            Lamb is a similar example. We still import quite a bit from New Zealand (a legacy of the colonial heritage) but this is generally now only available frozen. It has a mild flavour (so I don't buy it), in comparison with our local hill-bred sheep. Local is also the only way to buy mutton - which is generally my favourite, but it wouldnt suit folk who find ordinary young lamb too strong a taste (or just a taste they don't like.

                            J

                  2. Thanks for this thread... I just picked up a few legs of chevon from my CSA on a whim and am exploring ideas.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: EJC

                      Hey EJC,

                      Please update us later...tell us where your goat explorations take you!

                      1. re: DishyDiva

                        I definitely will. Looks like we may have a party next week where I do a roasted goat leg (subbing my typical lamb recipe), a braised leg, and maybe a jerk goat leg.

                        I'm kind of excited!

                        1. re: EJC

                          Good luck!

                          Don't forget, the goat is somewhat leaner than lamb and might be stringier than you'd expect so you may need to adjust your recipe and prep accordingly.