A goat, of course, is neither a cut of meat nor a lamb – but we feel it belongs here since it is a close relative. The most important thing to know about meat from a goat is that it should in most cases NOT be cooked the way you cook lamb, see below.
The domesticated goat has plenty of near relatives in the wild.
Keep in mind
Goat is one of the most popular and frequently eaten meats on the planet. But in the western world they - the females, that is – are mainly kept for their milk for cheese. The unwanted males are often killed just after being born – which does not feel like a rational and sustainable way to rear animals.
Tip: If goats are scarce in your part of the world, look for a butcher who caters to a community with Arabian and/or West Indian roots.
How to cook goat
The meat from a goat has little cholesterol, is rich in iron and very lean. It contains less calories tha beef, pork, lamb and even chicken. The reason for this is that goats don't build up fat reserves in the same way as, for example, lambs do. The meat contains connective tissue, but marbling is minimal.
The animal is cut up in the same way and the meat shows similarities, but don't try to treat goat like it's lamb. It is tougher and it is not tasty with a pink core. The lean meat needs to be subjected to humid heat for a long time to become tender and tasty. This applies to all cuts.
To boost flavors – and because it feels like a feast – you can sear the meat rapidly after boiling or braising it.
The taste is reminiscent of herbs and goes well with thyme. And with powerful Indian and Oriental spices. Tagine and curry are typical dishes where goat is popular.
Try marinating the meat in wine or yoghurt before cooking.
Only very young animals – kids that have suckled and had little time to eat grass – can be treated like lamb. Since goats (the females, that is) are kept for breeding and milk production, a small goat or "kid" at your butchers is almost always a young billy-goat. Aim for an inner temperature of 58°C.
An entire goat in a roasting pan. Season with lemon, pepper, salt, wine, garlic and olive oil. Cover and allow to cook in the oven for 3 to 4 hours. Roast quickly – applying intense heat – before serving.