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Suggestions for cooking a kid (baby goat)

alanbarnes Jun 8, 2009 08:44 PM

Okay, so this may be a little out there, but any recommendations will be appreciated.

A friend who raises milk goats just dispatched two male kids. They were 8 weeks old and not yet weaned. She can't bring herself to eat them, and so is sending one my way. I'm expecting an intact carcass that has been gutted and skinned, with the head and hooves removed.

My first thought is to brine the little guy and grill him over low heat. We're talking about meat that hasn't had a chance to build up any fat, so it will probably dry out quickly. Maybe throw some lime juice and cumin into the brine? (Although that would technically make it a marinade...)

On the other hand, maybe some of the bigger cuts (shoulders, legs) would be better as a stew. Would something like Jamaican curry goat be too assertive for a delicate milk-fed kid?

There are a surely lot of ways to do this right, but it's such a rare opportunity that I want to make the most of it. Ideas?

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    justinkicksass RE: alanbarnes Jun 8, 2009 09:57 PM

    No idea, but I'm jealous.

    1. Melanie Wong RE: alanbarnes Jun 8, 2009 11:02 PM

      Here's one idea for milk fed kid,

      I would think that the meat would be quite tender and it's highest and best use would be grilled or roasted, rather than stewed. I like the idea of brining. When I was in Portugal a few years ago, I was served a sublime suckling pig for lunch. My pal and I asked if we could go into the kitchen to talk with the cook. Her secret was brining the milk-fed pig for a couple days to keep the flesh succulent. I think that might be even more impt with a goat.

      You're lucky to have them. I asked at a local goat dairy and was told that they "kid out" the young males at Easter time, and I was too late for this year.

      1. Sam Fujisaka RE: alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 07:33 AM

        A szechuan - esque kid (although I've done this only with goat)

        1 pound goat meat, sliced very thinly or use off-cuts and trimmings; 1 tbsp shoyu, 1 tsp wine, 2 tsp cornstarch, 4 tbsp oil, sliced garlic, sliced chiles, green onion. Make sauce of 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sugar, ¼ tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp sesame oil.

        Mix goat, shoyu, wine, and cornstarch. Heat wok and oil. Stir-fry the garlic and chiles until fragrant. Add the beef and the sauce ingredients and stir-fry over high heat just until meat is no longer pink on the outside, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the green onions (cut into 2” lengths) during the last 1 minute of cooking.

        1. ChefJune RE: alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 07:53 AM

          I spent half an hour one Saturday talking to a goat farmer at the Greenmarket about how to cook goat, and she recommended that it is very similar to cooking lamb.

          That baby will be very tender and shouldn't need marinating. You could look up recipes for grilling or roasting a baby lamb.

          1. Veggo RE: alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 08:18 AM

            We cooked a few in Texas, in a device that was a metal frame and the cabrito was sandwiched between 2 layers of chicken wire that was wired to the frame. It kept the goat nice and flat and easy to turn. We cooked them over a bed of mesquite coals in a shallow pit. There were very few fat drippings so no flare-ups.
            A friend had a large brick smoker unit and smoked one. Both methods produced memorable experiences.

            1. Paulustrious RE: alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 10:52 AM

              By all means brine it, but the differing thicknesses of meat will lead to some parts of it being overly salty if you are not careful. I personally would joint it before brining. It will allow you to cook it for less time which is an advantage with milk-fed animals.

              Do remove the ribs. Rack of goat compares very favourably with rack of lamb. There should be little tough meat on the carcase so cooking for a long time will be unnecessary unless that is the texture you are trying to achieve. A simple thyme, rosemary seasoning is all they need if they have been brined. I'm jealous too.

              It's a pity you don't have the head and trotters as they would make ahttp://www.chow.com/images/button-post_my_re... superb stock.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Paulustrious
                hotoynoodle RE: Paulustrious Jun 9, 2009 10:55 AM

                kid is way more like baby lamb than goat is to bigger, older lamb. the meat is very lean and very tender. brining is overkill here.

                1. re: hotoynoodle
                  Paulustrious RE: hotoynoodle Jun 9, 2009 04:04 PM

                  I still like it brined. It's just a personal thing. Lamb and goat do not need it as much as there is more flavour in the meat. But there is less when it is very young.

              2. alanbarnes RE: alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 05:55 PM

                L'chevreau est arrive!

                This guy's a little bit bigger than expected. Well over 10 pounds; it maxed out my kitchen scale. (Wonder how much of that has to do with breed versus age?) And my friend didn't have enough room in her fridge, so she froze it.

                I think I'll start it out as a pot roast and finish in a dry oven. I found a recipe from T4 Ranch that looks like it might work; pour a sauce of butter, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, and herbs over the meat, cover with foil, roast for 4 hours, then remove the foil and roast for another hour, basting often. Serve with homemade tortillas, fresh pico de gallo and sliced avocado.

                Needless to say, this won't be tonight's dinner, so any last-minute suggestions are welcome. Here's a picture of the beastie.

                5 Replies
                1. re: alanbarnes
                  Veggo RE: alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 06:12 PM

                  A nice-looking cabrito. Those ingredients are a combination of fairly strong flavors, for a critter with nice flavor of it's own. I'm sure it will be good. I would have planned the leftovers for tacos de chivo, but there are many roads to Mecca. A big chunk of hip meat is too majestic to squash into a tortilla, but that's just my opinion.

                  1. re: alanbarnes
                    Gio RE: alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 06:28 PM

                    I was thinking that you could think of a grander recipe for this fine animal. One other than a taco or tortilla. Perhaps searching Julia or veal recipes. I guess I'm just projecting.... Bon Appetit, Alan whichever way you go.

                    1. re: alanbarnes
                      Sam Fujisaka RE: alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 06:40 PM

                      If you first pot roast, it will be better to first cut into pieces. In that case use any trimmings in the recipe I provided above - will be worth it.

                      1. re: alanbarnes
                        Scargod RE: alanbarnes Jun 10, 2009 03:16 PM

                        Is it missing a front leg? Service charge?

                        1. re: Scargod
                          alanbarnes RE: Scargod Jun 10, 2009 03:33 PM

                          The guy who butchered it (he got the other goat for his services) already had a leg off by the time my friend told him I wanted it intact. Ah, well, close enough.

                      2. alanbarnes RE: alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 07:40 PM

                        Okay, now I'm reconsidering. In the first place, I should have said "braise" rather than "pot roast." Something along the lines of seven-hour leg of lamb. Nevertheless...

                        My first love when it comes to goat is Cabrito el Pastor. But that tends to use much smaller kids - 6 to 8 pounds - and I was chickening out, worried that this guy, at twice that size, might be a little on the tough side. OTOH, people cook pork shoulder with dry heat; it just takes longer to get tender.

                        So maybe a light marinade - salt and lime juice - followed by a couple of hours on the grill over very low heat. If it's still tough at 10pm, we can put dinner off 'til midnight. And if it's still tough at midnight, there's always breakfast. I just hope it doesn't dry out.

                        I also like the stir fry idea. But for the first round, at least, this goat is getting presented in large, bone-in serving pieces. DW won't let me dig a pit in the back yard to roast him whole, but as close as we can get...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: alanbarnes
                          Melanie Wong RE: alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 07:47 PM

                          You might want to have a Plan A/Plan B, as i did for the first time I cooked goat. This was from a med. size goat, a 7-lb LEG (not whole goat). I roasted it, pulled it out to see if it was tender, and if it had not been, I had enough time before dinner that I could have let it go a few hours longer for the low and slow way one would get an older animal tender as my back-up prep. But I'm very glad that I was able to put it to its highest and best use to show off the sweet meat in roasted, medium rare form. Made a lot of goat converts that night. The details here,

                          1. re: alanbarnes
                            Veggo RE: alanbarnes Jun 9, 2009 08:10 PM

                            Start it at 5:00 over the low heat. Have a baste and brush on the ready. Don't over-think it or overcook it or over-season it or over-think it. (emphasis) Remind yourself that even tipping the Toledos at "well over 10 pounds", it is smaller than holiday turkeys, and with a mass distribution that will cook more quickly. Have a nice Pinot Noir handy, for you while cheffing and having fun at it, and choose something suitable for your guests. Serve a big platter of a goat and carve your artistry at the table. Don't, please, serve it up like a tray of pork chops.

                          2. waytob RE: alanbarnes Jun 10, 2009 02:40 AM

                            Hope your final dish turned out well....a post note perhaps, but a trick we use here is to use green papaya or betel nut to help tenderise young meat prior to roasting/grilling. Leaves the meat flavour intact.

                            1. c oliver RE: alanbarnes Jun 12, 2009 07:12 AM

                              Here's a recipe from Will Owen for pork shoulder that I make constantly.


                              It would be easy to change the seasonings if the technique itself would work. 'Course you could use the whole goat (tough to get those three legs tucked in!) but just a thought.

                              1. jen kalb RE: alanbarnes Jun 12, 2009 08:27 AM

                                you have seen these recipes, right?

                                personally I dont think brining makes a lot of sense for baby goat meat.
                                If had very good kid dishes in italian and portuguese restaurants - its basically shredded roasted kid (not a very pretty presentation, but deliciousl.

                                In the caribbean kid soup (can be called goat water or even better name mannish water (get a laugh out of a jamaican on this) is a big specialty for parties, weddings etc. Can be made with heads and other stray parts or with ordinary goat cuts.

                                1. alanbarnes RE: alanbarnes Jun 15, 2009 02:25 PM

                                  Sorry to get back so late, but we did it. The goat defrosted gently until Saturday morning, when I splayed it and discovered that it was too large for my grill. So I took off the (remaining) legs, sprinkled it generously with kosher salt, squeezed a few limes over the meat, and let it sit for a few hours at room temp.

                                  At 4:00, I put all the grill's burners on low and arranged the goat. After an hour and a half, things had browned up nicely (except the front of the breast - the ribs pulled it into a kind of concave shape) and the meat was just past mid-rare. I carved off a slice of leg, and it was tough enough that I decided to go the low, slow, well-done route. So I turned off all the burners except the two under the breast, closed the lid, and walked away. At 6:00, I put a pan with a little cherry sawdust on the burner. At 7:30, we dined.

                                  And did we ever. Fresh-made tortillas, guacamole, and pico de gallo as sides. Sliced leg for those who didn't want to deal with bones, ribs for those who did. My wife discovered and decimated the backstrap (and I thought I could get away with saving that for a next-day cook's treat). We had a few guests, including some teenagers who aren't adventurous eaters at all. Everybody loved it.

                                  And we have leftovers! I'm thinking maybe cabrito guisado? And Sam's stir fry is definitely going to happen soon.

                                  Anyhow, thanks to you all for your input and support. Next time we have a goat grab, you're all invited.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: alanbarnes
                                    Sam Fujisaka RE: alanbarnes Jun 15, 2009 02:33 PM

                                    Worth flying from Colombia for!

                                    1. re: alanbarnes
                                      c oliver RE: alanbarnes Jun 15, 2009 02:54 PM

                                      Oh, man, I can't believe we missed that :( Will you have a regular source for the future??? Tell me yes. Got to NYC last night so I guess it was worth (maybe) missing your feast.

                                      For practical purposes, was the meat really tender? I feel that, even tough meat, if sliced correctly is still great. Congrats, Alan.

                                      1. re: c oliver
                                        alanbarnes RE: c oliver Jun 15, 2009 03:06 PM

                                        The leg meat was sliced thin and quite tender. The shoulders were served whole and were a little less so. The backstrap was falling apart.

                                        Now that everybody knows they like it, I may look into a local source for goat. There's a carniceria around the corner that may have some suggestions.

                                        1. re: alanbarnes
                                          c oliver RE: alanbarnes Jun 15, 2009 04:18 PM

                                          It's 715 in NYC and just reading the above makes me hungry.

                                      2. re: alanbarnes
                                        Gio RE: alanbarnes Jun 15, 2009 05:33 PM

                                        That's sounds absolutely wonderful Alan. I'm so glad it all turned out so well. I was worried that it would be tough even though it was just a kid. (see why I hate calling children kids....) How was the taste? Gamey? Or similar to... say....lamb??

                                        1. re: Gio
                                          alanbarnes RE: Gio Jun 15, 2009 06:02 PM

                                          It tastes like chicken!!! (Not really, but I couldn't resist.)

                                          The flavor profile is similar to lamb, but more delicate. Sort of like the difference between veal and beef, if you know what I mean. Not gamey at all.

                                          While goat's good, too, I can see how its appeal might be limited; it can be pretty intensely flavored. But kid's a whole 'nother thing; as Saturday's dinner confirmed, **nobody** doesn't like cabrito.

                                          1. re: alanbarnes
                                            Gio RE: alanbarnes Jun 15, 2009 06:15 PM

                                            Ah... that does sound nice.... LOL re the chicken, tho.

                                            1. re: alanbarnes
                                              Sam Fujisaka RE: alanbarnes Jun 16, 2009 06:09 AM

                                              What's a "flavor profile"?

                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                alanbarnes RE: Sam Fujisaka Jun 16, 2009 08:11 AM

                                                "Flavor profile" is pretentious-speak for "taste." If you're writing a scholarly article, tying up the gas chromatograph in the lab, or getting exorbitant fees as an expert consultant, you can't just talk about how something tastes, you have to talk about its "flavor profile."


                                                Me like fancy words. Me talk pretty one day.

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