Goat meat is one of the most widely consumed meats in the world yet I feel it is under-appreciated in the US. It was one of the first animals domesticated by humans thousands of years ago due to its breadth of providing sustenance—milk and meat. I regard goat meat as a beef substitute that could qualify as a “healthy” red meat. For you beef lovers out there, I know this might sound crazy, but hear me out! When I say goat meat could legitimately be used to replace beef in your diet, it’s because this red meat is lean and packed with vitamins and nutrients:
That’s right folks, Thiamin.
At the same time, goat meat is lower than beef in calories, cholesterol and fat. If you love eating beef but can’t take the high cholesterol, then consider goat.
The USDA did a study and compiled various nutritional data from the meat of goat, chicken, beef, pork and lamb (see graphic below). It was surprising to see how lean goat meat compared to its counterparts. However, there was no information on the type of cut the USDA used to compare each animal.
Although I am lucky to have Seattle’s Central Co-op and Nicky Farms, it can be uncommon to find goat meat at your typical grocery store. Your local butcher or halal grocery store might be able to help you out.
When cooked right, goat meat can be extremely tender, succulent and downright delicious. Growing up in an Indian household, goat curry was a common dish and was always a treat every time mom put it on the table. Whenever I go back home to visit my parents, my mom asks me if there’s anything in particular I’d like her to make. It’s always one dish—goat curry. I distinctly remember one evening having my best friend Ricky over for dinner. That evening must have changed his life because to this day, 20 years later, he still brings up that evening when he first sunk his teeth into that tender goat. Either my mom puts crack in it, or it just tastes that damn good.
Ok, now I’m hungry.
It can be prepared in a variety of ways, including stewing, grilling, frying, roasting, or made into sausage. I normally prepare goat two ways: broiled or slow-cooked in a crock-pot, curry style. Follow these steps to give it a shot. You will not be disappointed.
Broiled Goat Steak
• 1lb goat leg steak. Choose 100% grass-fed, pasture-raised if possible.
• Fresh ground black pepper
• Coarse sea salt
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Pinch of cumin (optional)
• 1/2 clove of chopped garlic (optional)
1. Before you cook the meat, bring the steak to room temperature and coat the entire piece of meat with olive oil.
2. Sprinkle each side with salt, black pepper, garlic and cumin.
1. Turn on broiler to high. Position meat on top rack.
2. Cook on one side for five minutes then flip and cook for another five minutes. This should give you a juicy pink center.
3. Loosely cover in foil once removed from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute.
As a rule of thumb, the cooking time is approximately five minutes on each side for every inch of thickness.
The steps provided are for medium doneness. Feel free to reduce or extend the cooking process to your liking.
• 2lbs bone-in goat meat. Bone-in will give you the best flavor. It should come cut into cubes. Stew meat is a good secondary option if bone-in is unavailable. Choose 100% grass-fed, pasture-raised if possible.
• 2 red onions, finely chopped
• 2 tomatoes, diced (1 28oz can of diced tomatoes will also work)
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 serrano peppers, chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 tablespoon virgin (unrefined) coconut oil or ghee
• 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
• 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
• 1/4 teaspoon tumeric powder
• 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 2 cloves
• 2 cardamom pods
• 1 cup water. More or less, depending on how thick you want the sauce to be.
There are a lot of ingredients, but you’ll like the cooking part since it’s extremely easy. Throw everything in a crock-pot and cook it on low for eight hours or high for four hours. If possible, stir every few hours. No worries if you can’t, it’ll still come out fine. You can throw everything together before you leave for work and come back to curry heaven. Garnish with cilantro and serve with whole wheat naan or brown rice.
Voila. Hope you try one of these recipes out. Let us know how it turns out!