editor's note: This is another in the series of recipes contributed by Krista Darnell. We'll be featuring her recipes on a weekly or biweekly unscheduled schedule.
The most common question people ask me when they find out I raise goats, is "Why". When I tell them I eat them, the next question is always, "HOW?". They invariably tell me about such and such time when they ate goat and it was horrible. Dry and stringy are usually the words they use to describe it.
This is like driving a wrecked Viper and then deciding all Vipers drive like crap. Goat will easily dry out if overcooked, but that's not to be blamed on the goat. Sticking it in the oven and then running off to play in chat rooms will not contribute to a juicy dinner.
Goat Smothered in Yogurt
Most Greek, Indian, and Middle Eastern recipes originally call for goat,
NOT lamb, but somewhere in the translations goat meat was renamed
mutton, or so I am told by my friends who imported themselves to the US
from places like Dehli and Albania. This Greek dish is a real treat and
a nice break from fried chops and bar-b-qued ribs. It's a bit labor
intensive but great for company and can be partially done ahead of time.
The yogurt needs to drain overnight so plan accordingly.
5 cups plain yogurt (not the non or low fat stuff)
2 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 goat legs
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/3 cup milk
pinch of ground allspice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Line a large strainer or colander with a paper towel and set it over
a bowl. Add the yogurt and let it drain overnight in the fridge. You
will need 2 1/2 cups of drained yogurt for this.
- Preheat the oven to 300F. Place a small round cake rack in a large
enameled cast iron casserole. Add 1 cup of water and the bay leaf. Set
the goat legs on the rack and scatter the scallions and garlic over
them. Cover the casserole dish and bring the water to a boil on the
range top. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 3 hours or until the
legs are very tender, then increase temp to 375.
- Remove the legs from the casserole dish and let cool. Remove and
discard the bones and gristle, then cut into bite sized pieces. Skim the
fat from the broth and toss out the bay leaf, scallions, and garlic. Add
remaining 1 1/2 cups of water to the casserole and boil over high heat
until reduced to 1 cup, about 4 minutes. Season the broth with salt and
pepper. Spread the goat in a shallow 9 x 14 baking dish and pour the
broth over the top.
(if you're doing this ahead of time, stop here and put in fridge for up
to 3 days)
- Reheat the goat in the oven for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a
large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, and flour. Whisk in the
milk and the 2 1/2 cups of drained yogurt. Season this with salt,
pepper, and the allspice. Remove the baking dish from the oven and pour
the yogurt mixture evenly over the goat. Bake for around 30 minutes or
until the topping has set.
- Preheat the broiler. Broil the goat for about 2 minutes, rotating the
dish as necessary, until the topping is nicely browned. Meanwhile, in a
small saucepan, melt the butter with the crushed red pepper until
sizzling. Drizzle the butter over the top and serve at once.
If you're into dining in style, the wine recommendation comes from
someone who knows wines (NOT me), and they suggest a big rich rustic red
with enough acidity to stand up to the yogurt. A 1998 Boutari Naossa
from Greece or an Italian Sangiovese such as the 1997 Lungarotti Rubesco
Torgiano. I suspect a Miller Lite will do ok too. ;)