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By: Merle Ellis
"The Nation's Best Known Butcher"

In some parts of the world goat is the preferred meat.
It is a tradition in Greece at Easter; that's where I first tasted goat. In parts of Mexico, cabrito is standard barbecue fare. Goat meat is served and enjoyed in northern China as well as northern Italy. The French call goat "chevon" and regard it as a delicacy. In America, however, goat meat is far from familiar fare.

"Goats are the most underrated farm resource around today," says Shelly Andrew, an extension agent in Jackson County, N. C. "If properly marketed, this animal is about twice as profitable as cattle. Goats thrive in pasture land too poor to support cattle. They're perfect for mountain areas, and they are very hardy."

The meat-goat business seems to hold new potential. There is a growing, solid market for goat meat in the United States. Indeed, in Florida, one supermarket chain is beginning to carry goat meat next to poultry, pork and beef in the meat case. Their customers with family roots in South America and the Caribbean are demanding it. With the growing interest in all ethnic foods in this country, the interest in goat meat is certain to expand to other states. Goats are naturally low in body fat, with only 51 calories per ounce. A four-ounce serving of roasted goat contains only 85 mg of cholesterol. Goats can live and thrive and produce goat meat on almost anything. Goats eat hay, grass, leaves of trees, branches, even kudzu.

It may be a while before goat meat is available in every market in America, but it is on its way. Until then, try the following recipes using lamb (the closest in flavor to goat) or "get your goat" by mail from Broken Arrow Ranch. Call Kathy or Dawn at (800) 962-4263 to place an order or for more information.

Southwest Leg of Goat

1 cup white wine or vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf, crumbled
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (5- to 7-pound) leg of goat, boned
3 large potatoes, quartered
3 onions, quartered
3 large chiles or peppers, seeded and sliced
2 garlic clovers, skin removed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine vinegar, oil and seasonings and pour over goat meat in a glass baking dish. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 12 to 24 hours, turning often.

Remove goat, strain marinade and reserve. Place potatoes, onion, chiles and garlic in shallow roasting pan and pour 1/4 cup marinade over vegetables. Place goat on roasting rack over vegetables. Pour 1/4 cup marinade over goat. Roast for apporximately 25 minutes per pound.

Serve with vegetables. Use drippings for gravy, if desired.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Cabrito Chops Jalapeno

4 goat round bone or blade shoulder chops, 1 inch thick
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in its own juice
1/2 cup jalapeno jelly
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Sprinkle chops with a mixture of salt, pepper and cinnamon. Combine remaining ingredients in small saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until jelly is melted.

Broil or grill chops 4 inches from source of heat, 8 to 10 minutes on each side. Spoon sauce on meat the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Makes 4 servings.

About The Author

Merle Ellis is considered one of the country's top authorities on meat selection and preparation. He is nationally known to the public through his own television series, as well as through his syndicated newspaper column, "COOKING AROUND THE COUNTRY".

Merle began his career as a butcher at the age of 13, workings in his father's meat market in Sioux City, Iowa. And after serving in the army, he worked as a butcher while majoring in radio and television at San Francisco State College. A thirteen year career as a producer/director in San Francisco television followed, including the formation of his own independent production company and the winning of several broadcasting awards, including two Emmys.

In 1973 he combined his two careers, and became a regular guest on the DINAH SHORE SHOW, where he advised consumers how to get the best meat values. Thereafter he has been a frequent guest on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, and has made hundreds of guest appearances on other national and local television shows. Currently he can be seen as the host of his own television series "COOKIN' USA", a daily cooking show on The Nashville Network.

Merle's book "CUTTING UP IN THE KITCHEN", published in 1975 by Chronicle Books, has sold over 500,000 copies. He is presently writing a cookbook for Knopf Publishing, which will be published in 1996.

Merle Ellis
P. O. Box 907
Tiburon, California 94920
Phone: (415) 383-6585
Fax: (415) 383-2924


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