So Esther's dad was a gentleman goat farmer up in Chico (though he's into sheep now) and one thing led to another and I got half a goat for a hundred bucks. (I wanted to get a whole one and roast it at the SF Chowhound Picnic, but the logistics were too tough.) I received about 35 pounds of meat in about 20 vacuum packages, butchered into chops (shoulder, loin, rib), shanks, leg and stew meat. Oh boy!
Last night was the first goat meal I've ever cooked, and I think it is one of the best stews I've ever made or had. My friend the Internet told me how. It was Seco de Chivo, a classic Ecuadorean preparation. (Who knew?) It turns out that if you Google "goat recipes" you get many of the same recipes on several different sites. And it was simple as heck.
Goat meat is not marbled with fat like beef, so it is very easy to trim off the thick chunks of fat clinging around the muscles. It was very dark red meat and smelled like lamb when it was raw. I browned it in a little olive oil and it also smelled like lamb, but a little milder. And really really good! I deglazed my ton of fond with an Anchor Steam beer, which I saved for the braising liquid. Then I browned an onion, a few cloves of garlic, and a stalk of celery. The spices were cumin, sweet paprika, a little ancho powder (the recipe calls for chile heat but I wanted my 3-year-old to eat it), powdered clove and allspice, marjoram, Mexican oregano, salt and pepper.
The recipe called for sugar or honey, but my great good luck was that I still had some dark caramel I'd made for a Vietnamese claypot catfish. That joined the beer and half a can of tomato puree in the braise.
The meat was still tough after two hours, but after three it was falling off the bone. I couldn't believe how little fat was produced. There wasn't a speck to skim off. And that juice was thick and an incredible russet brown. Wow!
It was consumed with steamed potatoes and Brazilian-style stir-fried kale, quickly and greedily by all concerned. The flavors married together beautifully; it was hard to detect any single spice component, and the vegetables all melted. Daughter Rachel says goat has replaced lamb as her favorite meat. The meat itself is pretty mild and unassertive--more so than beef or lamb--although I'm sure some of that credit is due to Esther's dad.
That's about all I have to tell you, for now. I'll let you know of my further adventures. Go out and get your goat!