The UK is less eager to embrace goat meat than it is other, more familiar, options such as beef, pork and lamb. However, goat meat is extremely popular across Europe and in other parts of the world – in fact, it makes up 60% of all red meat eaten worldwide. Frankly, it’s about time we stopped dragging our feet and realised what we’re missing out on – a tender, delicate and versatile meat that is delicious roasted, grilled, barbecued or stewed.
Goat meat has a reputation for tasting gamey, but it actually tastes very similar to beef, only with less fat. This leaner, healthier meat is lower in calories, fat and cholesterol than lamb, beef and chicken, and it also contains more iron, potassium and protein than any of these meats. In recent years we’ve seen more restaurants adding goat dishes to their menus to allow diners to discover its deep, earthy flavour, and now you can also buy it from speciality butchers to cook with it at home.
Many think of goat as being similar to lamb, but it would be a mistake to treat them in the same way when cooking. Goat meat should not be served rare and pink on the inside like lamb is and should instead be cooked slowly and thoroughly to ensure that it isn’t tough. Goat meat needs moisture to tenderise the meat, so if you cook it at too high a temperature it’ll quickly toughen up and become unappetising. For a succulent and rich end result, wrap the meat in foil and roast it at 150° C for 60-90 minutes. If you’re using the meat in a casserole, stew or curry, simply brown it for a couple of minutes before simmering with the rest of your ingredients for approximately 2 hours.
Just as with other types of meat, each cut of goat is best suited to a certain type of recipe, so it’s important to purchase suitable meat for the meal you have in mind and consider how best to cook it. Goat chops are easy to marinate before frying or baking in the oven, legs are best slow roasted and loin can be fried or grilled before being sliced into medallions.
Goat shoulder should be wrapped in foil or parchment before being slow roasted with a sprinkle of lemon juice, cheeks can be cooked whole, leg steaks taste beautiful marinated in wine before frying and diced meat can be stewed for use in curries, casseroles or chilli. These are the most common cuts of goat meat available in the UK and there are countless delicious meals you can make with each.
For an easy way to get started with goat meat, why not try this simple recipe for marinated goat skewers?
500g diced goat
65g natural yoghurt
1 tbsp orange juice
½ tbsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp salt
- Use diced goat meat, such as this free-range goat meat from The Dorset Meat Company.
- Thread the meat cubes onto skewers and set them aside.
- Mix the yoghurt, orange juice and all of the spices to make a marinade. Coat your diced meat, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 150° C.
- Wrap the skewered meat in foil, gathering the edges to trap moisture in.
- Place the wrapped meat on a baking tray or in a roasting pan and place in the centre of the oven.
- Check on the meat after an hour of roasting. You’ll know it’s finished cooking when it comes apart easily with a fork. If it’s not quite tender enough yet, leave it to roast for another 30 minutes.
- Serve your marinated goat skewers with rice and peas for a traditional Caribbean style dish.