We have been wanting to experiment with goat for some years and have simply never got round to it. That changed when we came across Moat Goats on a UK cookery programme with the ‘Hairy Bikers’. They are based in Pembrokeshire in Wales and have Boer Goats bred for their meat rather than for milk. Meg has been really helpful with the ordering and offering advice. Based on that, our first purchase has been a half Goat Kid, the plan being that it has both ‘quick cook’ pieces, such as a rack but also slow cook joints like the shoulder (more later).
Buying a half animal you do get just about everything. This is great as it also means that there are the less obvious bits to work out how to use. Shoulder, leg, loin, chops, belly are relatively easy to think how to use. This is perhaps not quite the same for bags marked ‘goat fat, goat suet, heart, stock bones’. But more of those at another time. Today’s mystery cut was the Goat Kid Knuckle. We are starting here as we had something of a plan for this one!
We were going to base this dish on our braised lamb neck and chickpeas ragù, which in turn had been inspired by a dish from Angela Hartnett. In essence we were going to substitute the goat knuckle for the lamb neck fillet, adjusting the cooking accordingly. The meat is slowly braised with a soffritto. The braising liquor and the vegetables then go on to make the base of the ragù. The original Angela Hartnett recipe also added smoked paprika and fennel seeds, before simmering with tomatoes and chickpeas. We omitted those with our lamb version, but included them here.
We soaked the dried chickpeas overnight. The following morning these were slowly simmered until nearly cooked (tinned chickpeas would avoid this step). The main cook started with some smoked pancetta cut into lardons. These were gently cooked to release some of their fat in one of our Tefal Ingenio handless pans. To this we then added a simple soffritto of onion, carrot, celery and a chopped garlic clove. A little olive oil was added and the vegetables coloured. These were then set aside into the casserole that would be used for the majority of the cook.
The goat knuckle had been removed from the shoulder already. I had expected it to be the part of the front leg below what would be the elbow joint (in a human) – a foreshank.
In fact it was the foreshank, but also included the humerus bone and the bi and triceps muscle too (what would be the upper arm in a human). The limb was therefore divided at the joint giving 2 pieces from each goat knuckle. We bought an additional knuckle to go with the one from our half goat and you can see these after division in the photograph on the left. The meat was well seasoned and added to the first pan with a little more olive oil. These were rotated in the pan until all the surfaces were beautifully coloured.
The goat was then added to the soffritto in the casserole, tucking it in as necessary. The original pan was then deglazed with the red wine so as not to waste any of the tastes that had built up there. Heated until all the alcohol had been boiled off, the wine was then added to the casserole along with one tin of tomatoes, gently crushed, and a little tomato purée. A half tsp of smoked paprika and 1tsp of fennel seeds were added.
Although not absolutly necessary we also added a little concentrated chicken stock at this point. The Big Green Egg was then reconfigured to an indirect setting and the temperature stabilised at around 130-140C. The goat was slowly braised for around 3+ hours until it began to soften (longer than for the Lamb neck fillet).
The meat was removed from the braising liquid and the cooked chickpeas were simply stirred through the ragù. Thie chickpea ragù was brought back to temperature and after adding a sprig of thyme and the goat meat it was slowly cooked for a further hour or so. Then time to test and adjust the seasoning, but before adding any salt or pepper add the juice of half a lemon.
At this point everything was ready to eat – but we find the taste of these dishes is so much better the following day. Therefore, the BGE was then shut down and the whole thing was left overnight to cool (night-time temperature 4C).
The following day the ragù was reheated (meat above 70C) so the dish could be divided. We separated it into 4 portions with some ragù left over. We found that around 360g ragù plus a piece each of the goat worked well for the 2 of us for one meal.
The goat ragù was great on its own as shown here or with a simple green salad
Do give this a go ……………..
………………….. it is a great dish!
The additional 330g of ragù was put into a dish and was used later with some gnocchi de patata to make a light lunch for 3.
Braised Goat Kid Shoulder and Chickpea Ragù
A rich braised goat dish served on a hearty chickpea ragù
- 4 pieces of goat shoulder knuckle
- 100g Lardon
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 tins Chickpeas (or 200-250g of dried chickpeas)
- 1 tin of tomatoes gently crushed
- 1 tsp tomato purée
- A little concentrated chicken stock (optional)
- Olive oil
- Red wine
- Salt and pepper
- Sprig of fresh thyme
- 1/2tsp smoked paprika
- 1tsp fennel seeds
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Step 1 If using dried chickpeas, soak overnight and the following morning slowly simmer until nearly cooked (If you are using tinned chickpeas you can avoid this step).
- Step 2 Add the lardon to the pan and gently cook over medium direct heat to release some of their fat. Add the soffrito of finely chopped onion, carrot, celery with some olive oil until it takes on a little colour. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Once cooked, set aside into a casserole dish.
- Step 3 In the same pan add the goat seasoned with salt and pepper. Rotate in the pan until all the surfaces are beautifully coloured.
- Step 4 Add the goat to the soffritto in the casserole. Deglaze the original pan with the red wine and keep on the heat until the alcohol had boiled off. Add the wine to the casserole along with the tin of tomatoes, gently crushed, the tomato purée, paprika and fennel seeds. If you are going to add chicken stock, do it at his point
- Step 5 Reconfigure the Big Green Egg to an indirect setting and let the temperature stabilise at around 133-140C. Braise the goat casserole mix for around 3+ hours until it begins to soften.
- Step 6 Remove the meat from the braising liquid. Add and stir through the cooked chickpeas and a large sprig of thyme. Reintroduce the goat into the casserole and continue cooking for a further hour or so.
- Step 7 At this point the dish is ready to eat, or can be left overnight for the flavours to intensify. If reheating the following day make sure the meat is heated to above 70C. Remove the goat and serve the ragu onto warm plates with one piece of goat.
- Step 8 Any left over ragù makes a great dish in its own right or can be served with a short pasta or gnocchi de patate