A lot of people still shy away from cooking goat meat. But it is actually very easy to prepare if you keep a few things in mind.
“Always cook goat meat in the oven,” recommends goat farmer Toni Odermatt from Stans, Switzerland (www.meierskaehlen.ch). And: “Always prepare it with the bone left in to give it extra flavour.” Goat meat is served well done rather than pink. It is best when the meat practically falls off the bone. It should stay juicy despite the long cooking time. That’s why you shouldn’t cook it at too high a temperature. Here is Toni Odermatt’s basic family recipe: Gently roast the salted meat in the oven at 200 degrees, douse with cider, add pepper and rosemary – and then allow it to stew at just 150 to 160 degrees. A leg of goat weighing about one kilogramme needs around 1.5 hours. Meanwhile, continue to douse the meat with the juices every now and again – to keep it nice and juicy.
But some people still have a few preconceived notions about young goat meat and believe that it is too “gamey”. But actually, good goat meat is very tender with an almost neutral taste. Goat farmer, Odermatt adds: “Cheese made from goat’s milk has a more intense aroma than the meat. Some of my customers who enjoy eating goat meat still prefer to stay away from goat’s cheese.” At the same time, Odermatt understands that male goats older than four months can already have a strong aroma. Buying meat is a question of trust. Ideally, it is best to know the farmer. When buying goat meat, it should have a firm texture similar to chicken. It should not be white, but entirely pink, as young goats are often fed on hay.
Eating goat meat is a long-standing tradition: If a goat farmer prefers not to have all those male mouths to feed in his herd in addition to producing milk, then the goats are destined for the kitchen. “That has been the way for thousands of years,” explains Toni Odermatt.
There has been a lot more talk about autumn goat meat over the past several years. These are doelings that have already spent a summer in the Alps. Of course this means that they are larger than spring goats and the meat is a bit firmer and darker. “It is every bit as tasty as spring goat meat,” according to Odermatt. “The meat just needs a little more time to cook and it can be prepared without bones.”
For those who have already acquired a taste for it: Goat offal is also considered a delicacy. Especially the liver. Those with a sophisticated palate can venture to try the sweetbread or heart. These are highly sought-after cuts and usually have to be purchased directly from a goat farmer.