Apr 10, 2015

The World's Most Sought-after Red Meat – GOAT!

Goats are known for eating everything,
but to stay healthy, goats need to eat plant material found
on pasture land with lots of various grasses.
It turns out that goat meat is now the most popular red meat in the world... who'd a thunk?

Goat meat accounts for 70% of all red meat consumed worldwide – the United States is one of the last places where goat meat is still considered exotic. However, the U.S. has been importing goat from Australia since 1991, bringing in more than 700,000 goats. 

Hawai‘i’s total goat inventory is at 12,000, a 56% increase over the 2012 inventory. Demand for goat meat, called cabrito or chevron, far exceeds its supply, and making it an important sector of the livestock industry in Hawaii.

Goat meat is particularly popular among cultures from the Philippines, near and South Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean, and others. Individuals from these regions drive a strong demand for goats sold on the hoof for home slaughter in Hawai‘i. Much of the demand peaks around religious holidays, graduations, weddings, and other celebrations.

Among the benefits of goat meat are easy digestibility, good taste, low fat and cholesterol. Goat meat is very low in fat, with little or no marbling, so it is often cooked slowly and over low heat with a lot of moisture. Tenderness of the meat cut determines the method or methods of cooking. Tender cuts of meat are usually best when cooked by a dry heat method such as roasting, broiling or frying. Less tender cuts are tenderized by cooking with moist heat such as braising and stewing. Tender cuts of goat meat are the legs, ribs, portions of the shoulder cut, the loin, roast and the breast. Less tender cuts of goat are stew meat, riblets and shanks. In general, it is advisable to cook the meat slowly. Cooking any meat at low temperatures results in a more tender and flavourful product with more juice. If you live on Moloka'i, and want to try goat meat, you can buy it at the Moloka'i Livestock Cooperative, phone #(808) 567-6994, located at 3367 Maunaloa Highway, Ho'olehua.

Recipes for cooking goat meat are varied. Goat meat does have it’s own distinct flavor and aroma. If prepared with patience and adequate moisture, you and your family will enjoy a delicious meal made with the world's most sought-after meat... goat meat.

Caribbean Jerked Leg of Goat
2 cups onion, chopped
4 to 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 2 tablespoons dried leaves)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 hot pepper, or to taste, chopped, or teaspoon hot pepper oil
1 leg of goat with bone in

Mix or puree together the onions, garlic, soy sauce and spices to form a paste.

Pierce the leg of goat and rub the paste over the meat; cover or wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight. (Any unused paste can be stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.)

Preheat the oven to 325˚F.

In a large pan (cast iron is best) on a hot stove sear the meat well on all sides.

Cover meat loosely with foil and cook for one to two hours or more depending on weight — until the internal temperature reaches 150˚F to 160˚F. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Note: If you use a tougher cut, such as a neck roast, marinate the meat in a mixture of beer and lemon juice overnight. Apply the rub in the morning and refrigerate for four more hours. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Mexican Roast Goat Adobo 
with Dried Avocado Leaves
Breathing the anise-like scent of fresh avocado leaves and other herbs coming from your oven is a beautiful thing. The meat becomes unbelievably tender without drying out or getting mushy.

4 ounces guajillo chiles (about 16 large chiles), tops, seeds, and veins removed
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves, or 3/4 teaspoon ground
10 allspice berries
1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
12 to 15 large sprigs fresh thyme (leaves only), or 2 teaspoons dried
10 garlic cloves
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt or to taste, plus additional for seasoning goat
Freshly ground black pepper
1 16-pound young goat (kid), quartered, or 6 to 8 pounds lamb shoulder, bone in, trimmed
1/2 to 3/4 ounce dried Mexican avocado leaves (see not below), about 30 large leaves
2 cup chicken broth
1 28 to 32 ounce can of whole tomatoes

Wash and griddle-dry the chiles by the directions below. Place in a deep bowl and cover generously with boiling water. Let soak for at least 20 minutes.

Grind the cumin, cloves, allspice, oregano, and dried thyme (if using) together in an electric coffee or spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.

Drain the soaked chiles. Working in batches as necessary, place them in a blender with the ground herbs and spices (add fresh thyme at this point if using), garlic, onion, vinegar, salt, and about 1/2 cup water (or enough to facilitate the action of the blades). Process to a smooth purée (about 3 minutes on high), stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. With a wooden spoon or pusher, for the purée through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl. It should have the consistency of a thick but still moist paste.

Season the pieces of goat with salt and pepper. Set aside 1 1/4 cup of the chili paste mixture (adobo) and rub the meat with the rest. Arrange in a large bowl (or any non-reactive container that's large enough), cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours. Remove from the refrigerator about 2 hours before beginning the cooking, to let the meat come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 250°F.

Choose a deep roasting pan, like a turkey roasting pan with a lid, or baking dish large enough to hold the meat snugly. Scatter half of the avocado leaves across the bottom of the pan and arrange the meat on them. Scatter the remaining leaves over the meat. Cover the pan (wrapping very tightly with three layers of foil if there is no lid) and bake 8 1/2 hours without peaking while it's cooking. The meat should be almost falling off the bone.

When the meat is done, skim the fat from the pan juices and deglaze the roasting pan with 2 cups homemade chicken broth over medium-high heat, scraping up the browned bits. Stir in one 28- to 32-ounce can tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon. Add the reserved adobo chili paste and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes, or until reduced to about 4 cups. Let cool slightly and purée in a blender (working in batches as necessary) until smooth. Serve with the carved meat, and beans and rice. Makes 8-10 servings.

Notes: Griddle-Drying Remove and discard the tops, seeds, and veins of the chiles. Rinse the chiles under cold running water and shake off the excess moisture, but do not dry them. Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact. Place the chiles on the griddle, a few at a time, and let them heat, turning occasionally with tongs, just until any clinging moisture is evaporated and the aroma is released. Allow approximately 30 to 45 seconds of roasting per chile, slightly less for guajillos (which are very thin-skinned). The chiles should just become dry, hot, and fragrant; do not allow them to start really roasting or they will have a terrible scorched flavor. Remove from the griddle as they are done.

Mexican avocado leaves: Mexican cooks use these to impart an anise-like aroma to foods. They're often used as wrappers, or crumbled into stews. Toast the leaves before using, as fresh avocado leaves may be toxic, see this website for more information. You can buy dried imported avocado leaves from Mexico at Spices Inc., online store, or from another online website called mexgrocer.com. Though sizes are not standardized, they generally come in 1 or 2-ounce packets, sometimes with the contents fairly broken up. One ounce of dried avocado leaves is usually equivalent to about 44 leaves. Substitutes: banana leaves (as a wrapper), however it won't be the same flavor as avocado leaves. The leaves of the Mexican avocados (anise-scented) are not toxic, while those of the Guatemalan avocados (not anise-scented) are reported to have caused problems, sometimes fatal, for livestock that ate large amounts, mostly goats that experienced lung congestion and inflammation of the udder. In parts of Mexico, specifically the southern states of Oaxaca and Puebla, toasted and fresh leaves are added to (black) beans, tamales, soups, moles, pipianes, and stews. They're are also layered into casseroles, used as a bed for roasting meats, and wrapped around fish, chicken, and meat when grilling.

Dried Mexican avocado leaves
from Spices Inc.
How to use avocado leaves: Most recipes call for toasting fresh or dried avocado leaves before using. After toasting, they can be added whole, ground, or crumbled to your dish, depending on how you are using them. Some leaves are more pungent that others, so start with a conservative amount, anywhere from one teaspoon of ground leaf to 1 whole leaf for an entire pot of beans. If you want a stronger flavor, simply add more.

To toast avocado leaves: Toast the avocado leaves in a hot, dry skillet, pressing lightly with a spatula, or, using tongs, pass them over a live flame for about 10 seconds. Toasting heats up the natural oils in the leaves and brings out the licorice flavor. For this reason it is best only to toast what you will use in a particular recipe, toasting only for each use.

Goat Caldereta
A famous Filipino dish called Goat Caldereta consisting of a ingredient called "liver spread". I found out that Filipino style liver spread is basically a spicy liver pate, but is a key ingredient in this stew.

1 pound goat shoulder meat, cut into cubes
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 onion, minced
1/2 tsp. chili flakes (optional)
3 tomatoes, diced
1 cup tomato sauce
6 tablespoons liver spread
2 cups water
2 potatoes, quartered
1 large carrot, sliced
3/4 cup Spanish green olives (optional)
3/4 cup red bell pepper, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, salt and black pepper. Marinate the goat meat for at least an hour (this is to eliminate the smell and taste of the meat) in the refrigerator. Remove goat meat from marinade, reserving the liquid.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large pot (or casserole) over medium heat. Fry potatoes and carrots until lightly brown. Remove and set aside.

In the same pot, stir-fry the marinated goat meat; cook until lightly brown. Remove and set aside.

Add remaining 1/4 cup oil to pot. Sauté the garlic and onion until fragrant and translucent. Add chili flakes (if using) and tomatoes; stir-fry until wilted. Return goat meat and accumulated juices to pot. Pour the tomato sauce and liver spread; stir and simmer for 2 minutes.

Add water and bring to boil then simmer for an hour or until the meat is tender. (You may add more water if the sauce seems to dry up, a little at a time.) Stir occasionally.

Add potatoes, carrots and green olives (if using). Cook and simmer until tender, about 6 minutes. Season salt and pepper to taste. Add bell peppers, cook for another 2 minutes.
Transfer to a platter. Makes 4 servings.

Grilled Caribbean Goat Kebabs
1 pound boneless goat loin, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup plain low fat yogurt
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 onions, cut into chunks
2 bell peppers, cut into chunks

In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt, orange juice and all seasonings. Blend well. Add the goat meat cubes to the bowl, stir to coat with the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 4 - 24 hours.
Remove the meat from the marinade, pat lightly with paper towels to dry. Place meat evenly on the skewers with onion and bell pepper chunks. Grill over medium-hot coals, turning frequently, for about 10 minutes until nicely brown. Makes 4 servings.

Goat Stew with Mexican Chiles
5 pounds kid goat (cabrito) ribs, cut into 3- to 4-in. pieces
About 2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 dried guajillo chiles
4 dried ancho chiles
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon each cumin seeds and dried Mexican oregano
6 whole cloves
1 cup drained canned fire-roasted tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes, roasted in a frying pan until browned

Put meat on a baking sheet, pat dry, then rub all over with 2 tsp. salt.

Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan; cover and remove from heat. Meanwhile, stem chiles. Heat a cast-iron skillet or heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Toast chiles in batches, pressing flat against pan's surface with tongs and turning to toast evenly, until lightly browned and fragrant about 2 minutes per batch. Add chiles to hot water as they're toasted and soak, covered, until soft, about 20 minutes.

Toast garlic cloves in same frying pan, turning until browned all over. When cool enough to handle, peel.

Transfer chiles to a blender (reserve liquid) and whirl with garlic, vinegar, and piloncillo. Grind cumin, oregano, and cloves in an electric spice blender or in a mortar, then add to blender with 1/4 cup chile-soaking liquid. Whirl to make a thick paste, adding a little more soaking water if needed.

Smear paste over meat, cover, and chill at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Put a metal cooling rack in a roasting pan (large enough to hold meat in a single layer) and pour in 3 cups water. If water comes above rack, elevate rack with cookie cutters. Arrange meat on rack. Cover pot with a big sheet of heavy foil and crinkle foil around edge to seal tightly. Bake until meat is very tender, 4 to 4 1/2 hours.

Transfer meat to a rimmed baking sheet and cover with foil. Measure broth, skim off fat, and add enough water to make 3 cups.

Whirl tomatoes in a blender until smooth, then whirl in broth. Strain into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until steaming.

Divide hunks of meat among 6 soup bowls and ladle about 1/2 cup broth over each. Season with more salt to taste. Makes 6-8 servings.

Tender Goat Meat Stew with Tomatoes & Okra
1 1/2 pound fresh okra, cleaned, uncut
2 pounds Roma tomatoes, rough dice
1/2 pound tender goat meat, breast cut, cubed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cut the meat in bite size cubes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside. To prepare the okra, wash the pods, drain them, remove the cap, but don't puncture the capsule (to avoid the slimey-ness) and set aside.

In a large heavy pot, over medium heat, drizzle the olive oil and saute the goat meat for 3 minutes, add okra and saute for an additional 3 minutes while stiring occasionally. Add tomatoes, water, half of the cilantro, salt and pepper. Stir together and cover pot. Reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning, add lemon juice and serve hot sprinkled with the remaining chopped cilantro. Serve with brown rice. Makes 4 servings.

Goat Meat Sausage
While it's great for breakfast, it is also good served in tacos. This recipe also works well with ground venison.

4 pounds boned and ground goat meat
1 pound ground pork fat
1 1/2  tablespoons rubbed sage
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground thyme
3/4 teaspoon ground basil
3/4 teaspoon ground marjoram
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix together all of the ingredients. Form into breakfast patties and fry. Serve with eggs, toast, and a cup of hot coffee. Use as much as you like, then individually wrap sausage patties in plastic wrap and then put them in a zip-loc freezer bag. Makes 5 pounds of sausage.

Goat's Cheese
As long as we are talking about goats, I have to mention how wonderful goat cheese is, and their are so many things you can do with it. But first click on these websites for "Seven Great Goat Cheeses You Should Know", or "Goat Cheese Varieties".

Olive Oil Whipped Goat's Cheese Spread
1/2 pound fresh goat's cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
crackers or rye bread, toasted

Whip the goat's cheese, until incorporated, with a mixer, for about 2 minutes. Serve with crackers or toasted bread and radishes.

Goat's Cheese Tart
1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces soft goat’s cheese

Heat the oven to 425˚F. Lay out the pastry on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Then, using a sharp knife, score a line – not all the way through – along each side of the pastry, about 3/4" from the edges. This will give the tart a nice crusty edge.

Put the olive oil, cherry tomatoes, thyme leaves and garlic into a bowl and mix until they are well coated. Season with salt and pepper and mix again.

Tumble the tomato mixture evenly over the pastry, keeping it within the scored lines. Crumble the goat’s cheese over the top among the bits of tomato.

Add another quick dash of freshly ground black pepper and pop it into the oven for about 20 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and puffy on the outside, the tomatoes are collapsing slightly and the cheese is melty, then serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

Goat's Cheese Spinach Quesadilla
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 ounces baby spinach
4  8-inch whole-wheat flour tortillas
4 ounces semisoft goat cheese
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, sugar and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is dark golden brown. Remove from pan. Add the spinach and 1 tablespoon water to the skillet; cook 2 minutes, or until spinach is just wilted. Remove from skillet and turn off heat. Spread a quarter of the goat cheese on each tortilla and top with spinach, tomato and onion; fold closed and press lightly. Heat the skillet and place two folded quesadillas in it; cook two minutes per side, or until golden brown and lightly crisp. Repeat. Makes 4 servings.

Goat's Cheese & Roasted Beet Salad
4 medium sized fresh whole beets, trimmed of top and root, but leave the peeling on
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 slices bacon, cut into 1" pieces
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 (5 ounce package) mixed baby salad greens
2 ounces herbed goat cheese, thinly sliced

Put the whole, unpeeled beets in the middle of a piece of heavy wight aluminum foil, enough to cover. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper. Fold the foil over the beets tightly. Place the package on a roasting pan, and roast in the oven at 400˚F for 50 to 60 minutes or until beets are fork-tender. Remove beet package from the oven, open foil package to allow the roasted beets to cool. Gently remove the peeling with your hands. Cut the beets into small bite-sized squares.

Line a plate with a paper towel. In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp over medium heat. Remove to plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings.

In a small bowl, whisk together, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk in oil and reserved pan drippings until smooth and thick.

In a large serving bowl, combine salad greens, and beets. Top with slices of goat cheese and bacon. Just before serving, drizzle with dressing. Makes 4 salads.

Goat's Cheese Potato Gratin
2 cups half and half
1 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese (about 5 ounces)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
Freshly chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously butter 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Whisk first 6 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Arrange 1/3 of potatoes in bottom of prepared dish, overlapping slightly and covering completely. Pour 1/3 of half and half mixture over the potatoes. Repeat layering potatoes and half and half mixture 2 more times. Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown in spots, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 4-6 servings.

Ravioli Stuffed with Goat's Cheese
Ingredients for stuffing:
3/4 pound cream goat cheese
3 tablespoons ricotta cheese (Friendly Market)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil (from Kumu Farm here on Moloka'i)
1 egg, slightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 package wonton wrappers

Ingredients for ravioli sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1- 28 oz. can Italian style tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.

Mix stuffing ingredients together except the wonton wrappers, and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour minimum.

In a pot, combine the ravioli sauce ingredients. Simmer for 1 hour.

Put 1 tablespoon of mixture onto each wonton wrapper and cover with another wrapper. Seal with water around edges and pinch shut. Place in slow boiling water 2 minutes or until floats to top. Remove the raviolis to a bowl and pour the sauce over them. Garnish with Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

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