A roasted shoulder of lamb is common fare, but a roasted goat shoulder suddenly seems exotic and unusual, maybe triggering bad memories of shady Jamaican restaurants.
Well goat is making a come back. Writers Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein, wrote in a 2011 article for the Washington Post: “Goat meat production is ramping up in the United States. (…) Nutrition-wise, goat meat is a wonder. A similarly sized serving has a third fewer calories than beef, a quarter fewer than chicken and much less fat: up to two-thirds less than a similar portion of pork and lamb; less than half as much as chicken. More good news: Goats represent sustainability, without the curse of factory production. They are browsers, not grazers.”
Now, which one is my number one priority? Fantastic taste? Health benefits? True sustainability? Locally available? Well, with goat meat the answer is irrelevant, as it answers yes to all the questions.
What about the funky taste of Goat, what about the toughness of the meat? None of that should be an issue if you make sure to buy an animal which was processed at around 6 months of age. Goat meat can be found easily at Halal markets, and because of the absence of industry farms for goats, you will still be sure that the meat is coming form a small local farm.
Let’s go back to our Roasted Goat Shoulder. To keep with the holiday harmony of flavors and to infuse it with warmth and sweetness, I created a very aromatic spice rub, and a sweet counterpoint of apricots and dates. An overnight marinade will help tenderize even the toughest fibers, and the long slow cook with tend unsurpassed juiciness.
This recipe can be used for lamb too, but it would totally spoil the sense of fun and adventure!
- 1 goat (or lamb) shoulder
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoons ground cayenne
- 1 sweet onion, peeled and cut in 4
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 cup organic dried apricots
- 1 cup Mejdool dates
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup white wine (optional)
- The night before:
- Put all the marinade ingredients in a small food processor and mix until a smooth paste is formed.
- Spread the marinade evenly on the meat, rubbing it well into all areas.
- Put the shoulder into a large ziplock or other plastic bag and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
- On the day of the roasting:
- Warm the oven to 425 degrees.
- Lay the shoulder onto a glass Pyrex, large enough to fit it completely.
- Put shoulder in the oven and bake for 20 minutes to sear and seal in the juices.
- Now lover heat to 300 degrees, cover the shoulder loosely with foil and bake for 2 hours.
- Add the dates and apricots and more water to the Pyrex if needed.
- Bake for one more hour.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
- Serve on a plate together with the apricots and dates and any cooking juices.
- You can deglaze the pan with a ½ cup of white wine if desired.
Quotes from this article from the Washington Post.
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