Goat: Meat, The Book and Goatober:
I have been cooking a lot of goat meat recently and working my way through the fabulous book “Goat” written by James Whetlor from Cabrito Goat. I wanted to write up a bit of a summary because I have really enjoyed the variety of dishes I have cooked with the goat meat from the book but also Goatober is upon us so it’s a good time for everyone to try some goat meat hence Goat: Meat, The Book and Goatober!
Some folk get a bit funny when you mention goat meat, maybe because it’s not something a lot of us have grown up eating but it has gotten more popular in the UK over the past couple of years mainly due to James and his work. If you like lamb then goat is similar, a bit sweeter with a slight mineral taste. All of the Cabrito Goat meat I have had is more than equal to the best quality lamb I have purchased, lovely meat!
I have eaten a fair bit of goat over the years, mainly when travelling around the Greek islands or India. In Patmos I remember phoning a restaurant to order the slow cooked goat a day in advance and I think they cooked it for 12 hours or something. The taxi drove along a beach at night to get us to the restaurant which was pretty cool! In India, goat and mutton seemed to be interchangeable and just classed as mutton. I think in both places the goats would have been older animals rather than the kid goats you get from Cabrito Goat.
Fast forward to Meatopia 2014 and Neil Rankin created a long fire put made of breezeblocks and slow cooked 15 whole kid goats from Cabrito Goat then served them up in tacos with green salsa. I was fortunate to eat these at Meatopia and they were my stand out dish that year. Neil went on to cook goat at Smokehouse restaurant and it’s a permanent fixture on the menu at his Temper restaurants where I was also fortunate to eat some wonderful goat meat in 2016.
Funnily enough at Meatopia 2016 my favourite dishes were both goat dishes: The pulled goat Cuban sandwich by Duck & Waffle which was fantastic and the goat shawarma with watermelon, pomegranate and mint by Ottolenghi which I have to be honest blew my mind!
Ok, so I have eaten and enjoyed a fair bit of goat but most folk don’t know much about goat do they? I have copied this straight off the Cabrito website:
James Whetlor founded Cabrito after keeping a few goats to solve a land management problem. He was cooking at River Cottage at the time and a few of the goats ended up on the menu. After seeing how well the kids sold, James thought perhaps there was a market for kid goat meat. Turns out there was.
All Cabrito kids are a by-product of the dairy industry and would have in the past been euthanized shortly after birth. In a world of dwindling resources and rising food prices Cabrito believe this cannot be justified. They now have a network of farms producing high quality meat from a previously wasted resource.
If you wanted to cook a variety of cuts I would recommend the half goat at £120 from Cabrito it arrives in 3 parts: Shoulder, middle and leg. I bought one last year and used it as an opportunity to practice a bit of home butchery.
Want to see some goat dishes I have cooked?
I have cooked loads of dishes from the Berber and Q book lately, it’s a cracking book. One dish that stood out when I first read the book was for a Merguez patty melt. I had the idea of using Goat Merguez and the dish was stunning, so tasty!
Another great book I have been cooking from this year is Korean BBQ by Bill Kim. Drunken lamb chops have been on my list to cook for a while now and with goat chops in the freezer it was an easy decision!
Goat the Book:
This year (2018) James published his book “Goat” which has over 90 recipes in. Some are his and others are from famous chefs but there is a wide variety of dishes, cuisines and techniques in the book. When I first read through it I was struggling to choose what to cook first as there were so many awesome looking dishes in there!
First up was slow cooked kid shoulder:
That dish was fantastic, so tasty!
Next I cooked the DJ BBQ Goat burgers:
The goat burgers blew me away, the taste of them was better than most burgers I have eaten before. It was like discovering something totally new and different.
Next, I couldn’t choose between Sichuan or Jerk Goat so I did both!
Hard to pick a favourite, I preferred the Sichuan but the Jerk was also great and my wife preferred that.
Rendang is a favourite in our house as we ate loads of it travelling around Malaysia years ago. When I saw a rendang recipe in the book I had to cook it!
I can saw without doubt this was my favourite rendang dish I have ever eaten and a highlight from this years cooks for sure.
Keema is also a favourite in our house and when I saw Romy Gill’s recipe in the book I had to cook it as I had eaten Romy’s food a couple of weeks before and thoroughly enjoyed it!
Again, the keema was my favourite keema recipe so far. The taste was incredible and it got better after being left overnight. Definitely recommend this one!
Anyone who follows my blog will know I like to cook pizzas on my Ooni gear. I tried Lahmacun a few years back and cremated it so when I saw Goat lahmacun in the book I had to try it again!
Luckily I didn’t burn it this time and the dish was fantastic!
The DJ BBQ goat burgers were so good I had to make them again. This time I left out the halloumi and tomato, replacing it with bacon jam.
And the last dish I cooked from the book was Kid Biryani:
I do love a biryani and again, this was one of the best and tastiest I have cooked so far.
I learnt more of the background to the issue of male goats born into the dairy industry in 2016 from James during his Goatober event where for a whole month (October) he encouraged restaurants to cook goat on their menus. A large number of people picked up on it in the BBQ scene and it was the podcast with UnitedQ which really kick started it in the BBQ world. I joined in with goatober and ordered half a goat from Turner and George to cook over the month which was great fun! I ended up recreating the Goat Tacos, the Goat Shawarma and Ottolenghi’s dish with the latter getting me awarded restaurant of the day by James and Ottolenghi said “It looks delectable” which were both awesome bits of feedback!
I just found the pictures from everything I cooked during Goatober too:
Goatober is upon us again so if you haven’t cooked goat before then order some to try it. Get hold of James’s book for inspiration as it’s full of amazing recipes. Cook some goat, enjoy it and hopefully buy lots more! If you do cook some goat please tag me to your posts as I would love to see more goat cooks!
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KUNGFUBBQ: UK BBQ Blog and Ooni Blog documenting recipe cooks from various cookbooks, my own recipes, reviews of BBQ’s and Accessories plus handy hints and tips. UK BBQ Blogs