Goats, which offer high quality protein and are low in saturated fats, are now growing in importance in beef-happy North America, Australia, and Europe, as growing interest in ethnic foods, along with concern about cholesterol, gain fans for this slightly tougher but well-flavored alternative.
If you’re interested in preparing a goat, here’s my version of a lovely dish I found in many places in Central Mexico. This recipe is an easy introduction to preparing kid, as it does not require specialized equipment. The taste of baby goat is somewhere between lamb and veal, and is perfectly suited to the big, flavorful sauce in this dish.
(Oven-Roasted Young Goat)
1/2 baby goat, cut into parts (4 large parts—legs, side, breast)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. oregano
1/3 cup light olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium green peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 jalapeño chilies, seeded, deveined, and chopped (optional)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups of canned, peeled Italian tomatoes with juice (approximately 2-1/2 cans, 14.5 oz. each)
salt and pepper to taste Continue reading
Goats have the right of way on rural roads in Morocco.
Goat is among the most commonly eaten meats in the world and was among the first animals to be domesticated, along with (though possibly predating) sheep and dogs. (New archaeological discoveries regularly cause “firsts” to leap frog back and forth over each other, with the pig possibly having been earlier, depending on which end of the date ranges domestication actually occurred, as well as on definitions of domestication. But suffice it to say, goats were among the first, going back to around 9000 BC.)
Because goats can survive in regions not suitable for cattle or sheep, they are particularly popular in mountainous, rocky, arid, torrid, and frigid regions. Bushes, trees, and desert scrub that other ruminants would not be able to eat or digest can quite comfortably sustain goats. However, their being able to eat anything can make goats a bane, as well as a blessing. When allowed to graze without supervision, they can destroy fields and woodland areas. However, goats help keep rangeland open for other animals, eating back encroaching brush. And because goats are small, they can easily be raised by families who simply do not have sufficient land or resources for cattle. Continue reading