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my roast goat leg was a triumph!


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my roast goat leg was a triumph!

heidipie | May 30, 2006 12:27 AM

I'm getting down to the more interesting cuts from the half goat I bought last September. It being the holiday weekend, I considered butterflying and grilling my 5 pound goat leg, but the overwhelming advice on goat is long, slow heat. Not having a smoker, I decided to try kind of a mock goat porchetta, only with my usual more Caribbean-oriented goat seasonings.

I've pretty much got my goat rub down to a science now. I started by making some slashes in the muscle, and rubbing it with sour orange juice (I just go down to the Seville orange tree on the next block, but you can get them in season at Caribbean markets, or you can mix orange and lime juices. I used ten small oranges, or about 1 1/4 cups). I let it sit and made a paste of (more or less, improvising and not measuring):

1 head of garlic, crushed
1 T salt
1 T Mexican oregano, powdered between my fingers
1 1/2 t ground cumin
1 1/2 t sweet paprika
1 t tomato paste
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t chipotle powder (I was feeding babies and children or else I would have put in more)
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t ground clove
1 crumbled bay leaf
1 T caramelized sugar (I make in batches for Vietnamese clay-pot catfish dinners)
1/4 cup dry white wine (vinho verde)
1/4 cup olive oil

Then poured it into the sour orange juice that had pooled on the bottom of the roasting pan, and we gave that goat leg a good massage with the spice paste. I sliced an onion and tossed it around the bottom of the pan, then we threw it into a 200 degree oven for five hours.

I basted once in a while. Poured in more wine when the bottom got too dry. Turned the leg over once. Got nervous about it getting cooked enough and turned the heat up to 350 for twenty minutes, then got nervous about it drying out and turned it down to 275. This was my first roast leg of anything, so to say I was winging it would sound strange but be accurate.

I decided it was done when it was time to eat, basically, and when a meat thermometer read 145 near the bone, which is the number for rare lamb. I defatted the juices, deglazed with another cup of wine, and ended up with a nice pan sauce.

And Oh My God. It was indeed rare at the bone, well-done on the outside, beautifully crusted, flavorful as heck and moist through and through. My friends, all new to goat, practically stood up and cheered. My kids had third helpings.

I can't speak for any old goat, but this goat has been like lamb in texture only much milder in flavor, when it is basically standing on its own like in this preparation. It's just really luscious meat. When I've stewed it, though, which is how I've done it until now, it's really cooked up to a dark unctuous brown meatiness. How to describe? It's goat, and we love it. Try it!

(And if you live near Berkeley, CA, drop me a line and I'll tell you where the sour orange tree is.)

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