4 ways to get your goat (and eat it too)

CBC Calgary food and nutrition guide Julie Van Rosendaal offers some suggestions for the most widely consumed meat in the world — goat.

CBC Calgary food and nutrition guide Julie Van Rosendaal offers some suggestions

Rumour has it a goat is willing to eat almost anything. North Americans are a bit pickier, but here are four savoury ways to enjoy goat. (CBC)

While it’s less popular in North America and in western European countries, goat is the most widely consumed meat in the world.

It’s often labelled mutton on restaurant menus, as in some countries mutton refers to both goat and lamb, and some producers call it chevon, which sounds more appetizing than goat meat.

It’s starting to become more popular on grocery store shelves. Most often you’ll find cubed bone-in goat meat (watch for sharp shards of bone), which is perfect for braises, stews and curries.

If you can find ground meat (or grind it yourself), it makes an easy starting point too. If you’re interested in cooking goat at home, here are a few recipes to help get you going.

Tandoori Goat Curry

Most often you’ll see goat meat in a curry. This is a simple tandoori-style curry, made in the slow cooker so dinner’s ready when you get home from work. (Adapted from Calgary Co-op.)

  • 2.2 lb (1 kg) cubed bone-in goat meat
  • 4-6 Tbsp. dry Tandoori spice (similar to a curry blend)
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • canola oil, for cooking
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 19 oz (540 mL) can diced tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 14 oz. (398 mL) can coconut milk
  • 1 ½ cups diced potatoes
  • 2 bay leaves

In a large bowl, combine the goat, Greek yogurt and tandoori spice. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Heat the canola oil in a heavy skillet. Pull the cubes of goat meat out of the marinade and cook in the hot oil until well browned on all sides. Transfer to the slow cooker and add the rest of the marinade.

Add a splash more canola oil to the same skillet and sauté the onions, ginger and garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes to the pan and bring to a simmer. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the skillet clean — that’s all the flavour there!

Add the tomato mixture to the slow cooker along with the coconut milk and potatoes. (If it needs it, add hot water to the cooker so that the goat is at least 90 per cent submerged.) Add your bay leaves, cover and set your slow cooker to cook on low for at least six hours and up to eight or nine. 

Serve hot with rice and a reminder to watch out for the bones. 

Serves four to six.

(Courtesy Julie Van Rosendaal)

Goat & Sweet Potato Curry with Peanuts & Kale

Chilies, sweet potato, peanut butter and kale are delicious additions to slow-simmered goat. (Adapted from BBC Good Food.)

  • canola or olive oil, for cooking
  • ½-1 lb goat meat, cubed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 2-3 tsp. curry paste
  • 1-14 oz. (398 mL) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • a handful of chopped kale (ribs removed)
  • a big spoonful of peanut butter 
  • juice of a lime (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • steamed rice
  • wedges of lime and chopped fresh cilantro

Heat a generous drizzle of oil in a large, heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. 

Season the goat with salt and pepper and brown it in batches, setting it aside in a bowl as you go. Add the onion to the pan and cook for a few minutes, until it softens and starts turning golden; add the garlic, jalapeno and ginger and cook for another minute.

Return the goat to the pan with the curry paste, coconut milk and stock; reduce the heat, cover and simmer for an hour, until the meat is very tender. Add the sweet potato and cook for another 20 minutes minutes, until it’s tender too.

Stir in the kale and peanut butter, if you’re using it, and cook for a few more minutes, until the kale wilts. Add a squeeze of lime and serve over rice, with lime wedges and cilantro, if you like.

Serves four to six.

(Courtesy Julie Van Rosendaal)

Chevon Bourguignon

“Chevon” (like chevre, get it?) sounds more appetizing than “goat,” especially in something classy like a bourguignon. Here it’s simmered with wine, thyme, onions and a splash of balsamic vinegar into a rich, dark stew that’s perfect over mashed potatoes. (Make sure you watch out for bones.)

  • canola or olive oil, for cooking
  • 2 lbs. stewing goat meat, cut into cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • full-bodied red wine
  • beef stock
  • 1-2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1-2 cups small white pearl onions, peeled
  • 2-3 cups button mushrooms, halved or quartered if large, and left whole if small

Preheat the oven to 300˚F. In a heavy oven-proof pot set over medium-high heat, brown the goat meat in a generous drizzle of oil, setting it aside on a plate. Add the onion to the skillet and cook for a few minutes, stirring to loosen browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the onions are soft and turning golden.

Add the garlic and cook for a minute, then add the balsamic vinegar and stir to loosen any browned bits.

Return the meat to the pan, add the flour and stir to coat the meat well. Add the sprigs of thyme and add enough beef stock and wine to come about ¾ of the way up the meat. Cover and cook for 2½ -3 hours, until the meat is very tender. 

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat and cook the mushrooms and onions until they start to brown  they should be nicely golden  and then stir them into the rest of the stew. Serve hot, over mashed potatoes.

Serves six.

(Courtesy Julie Van Rosendaal)

Sloppy Goat Joes

If you’re new to cooking goat meat, ground can be a simple starting point  and an easy sloppy Joe sauce can make unfamiliar meat more familiar for those trying it for the first time.

  • Canola oil, for cooking
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¾ lb. ground goat meat
  • 1-14 oz. (398 mL) can diced, whole or stewed tomatoes
  • ½ cup ketchup or barbecue sauce, or some of each
  • 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • soft buns, cheese buns, plain or cheese biscuits

Heat a drizzle of oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for four to five minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the goat meat and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking it up until the meat is no longer pink.

Add the tomatoes, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the mixture has reduced and thickened. 

Split the buns or biscuits in half and ladle the sloppy Joe mixture on top.

Serves four to six.

(Courtesy Julie Van Rosendaal)

About the Author

Julie Van Rosendaal

Calgary Eyeopener's food guide

Julie Van Rosendaal shares recipes and cooking tips with the Calgary Eyeopener every Tuesday at 8:20 a.m. The cookbook author explores Calgary's culinary wonders in her column Food and the City.