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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Getting my goat at Palmerston Palace

Roll up, roll up, get your hairy rancid goat here! The perfect opportunity to catch up on late night infomercials, you'll be up all night with this little beauty! Reaquaint yourself intimately with your toilet bowl! Amaze your friends with shocking weightloss! Ever wanted to go vegetarian but just couldn't stop eating meat? This slimey little number will send you straight to the soy aisle!

I had some friends around for dinner last night, and was quite excited at the prospect of cooking goat for the first time. I've been meaning to get my hands on some nice spring milk-fed capretto from my local butcher for a little while now, but ended up buying a goat leg in Geraldton when I was there recently as it was on special, and quite a good price. The leg was frozen, so I took it out to defrost in the fridge the other day in preparation for last night's dinner. When I got it out to marinate yesterday morning, I was ill prepared for the horror that was to meet me. The vacuum seal wasn't sealed, so the blood had oozed out into the bag I had luckily placed it in. Not such a big deal, just a bit gross to deal with. I thought I detected a strange odour, but opened up the meat anyway and instantly wished I hadn't as my nose was assaulted with rancid fumes. Being unfamiliar with goat meat I thought for a second that perhaps this was just how raw goat smells, but on closer inspection the meat also had a lovely slimey sheen to it, and just to top things off it also had clumps of hair on it. Mmmmmmmmmmmm slimey hairy rancid goat.

Into the bin the slimey hairiness went, and to the internet I turned to try and somehow find a butcher than not only stocked goat, but was open on Sundays. A seemingly impossible task, and I expected that I would have to use lamb instead, but then I came across a stall called Poacher's Pantry at the Malaga Market so off I went to Malaga on a goat mission. Happily, when I made my way successfully through the gauntlet of bogans to Poacher's Pantry, I found 2 kilos of diced goat leg sitting next to the ostrich sausages. Sadly, I also discovered that this newfound source of interesting meats is soon to close down, but the upside was that the goat was 20% off. I wish I'd bought the ostrich snags too, who knows when an opportunity for cut price ostrich sausages will present itself again?

Home I rushed, now behind the eight ball in terms of dinner prep (although I possibly may have stopped off for some celebratory duck spring rolls at Phi Yen on the way home), but rejoicing in the fact that goat was still on the menu. This was particularly worth celebrating as I had been dorky enough to actually print off the menu.

The menu for the evening began with some lamb koftas that were left over from Mum's birthday party and had been patiently waiting in the freezer (uncooked) for a special occasion, such as to celebrate the sourcing of non-hairy goat. As with at the party, I served them with some raita, and couldn't resist a little mint garnish. Unfortunately I don't have a menu for the koftas as they were made by my sister who used a few different taste.com.au kofta recipes to come up with the final product, but I can share the raita recipe I used.


1/2 cup low fat natural yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tb mint leaves, chopped
1/2 lebanese cucumber, seeded and finely chopped or grated

Combine all ingredients, stirring well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Lamb kofta and raita

I was lucky enough to receive a sample of Blu Gourmet Pearl Couscous from Liz at Haystac some time ago, and had been planning to serve it with goat reminiscent of the tasty (yet terribly bony and stingy on the meat) goat tagine with Israeli couscous dish I had at Bella Vista a few months back. The couscous came with some tasty sounding recipes, by Gabriel Gaté no less (oui oui!), but given that I would be using the couscous as a bed for the saucy goat dish I decided to keep the ingredients to a minimum and cook it with the wild porcini mushrooms that Evelyne sent me in her Montreal foodie exchange package.

I really liked the taste of this goat dish, but next time I would cut the root vegetables into smaller pieces (which I ended up doing this time). The meat was also much better after being in the cooker for four hours, so I'd cook it for at least that long as well. The sauce was also not quite as thick as I would have preferred, which I think would have worked better with the pearl couscous as opposed to something better able to sop up a runnier sauce (like normal couscous or mashed potato), but I did end up adding extra stock to the goat as I was using more meat than the original recipe so I would not do this next time.The couscous though was really great, and I loved the flavour and colour that the wild mushrooms added! I really like the texture of pearl couscous, and will certainly be buying it to try some of Monsieur Gaté's recipes, or coming up with my own.

Slow Cooked Capretto
Slightly adapted from the Goat Tagine recipe by Anna Gare from Best in Australia

2 kg diced goat leg meat (or whatever cut you like)
400 g sweet potato, cut into large chunks
2 medium parsnips cut into 3 or 4
2 medium carrots cut in half
10 shallots, peeled
5 Roma tomatoes chopped into quarters
Rind of a lemon and half an orange
2 Bay leaves
1 cassia bark (use a cinnamon quill if you can't get this)
600 ml chicken stock
2 cans chick peas washed and drained

Spice Rub
3 tsp Smoked Paprika pimento
½ tsp Allspice
1½ tsp coriander seeds ground
3 cardamom pods ground and husks removed
3 Cloves ground
1 tsp sea salt
3 Cloves Garlic finely chopped
1 Chilli seeds removed and finely chopped
10 g Ginger finely chopped
2 Tb Olive Oil

Freshly chopped coriander or parsley
Lemon rind

Goat marinating, sauteing the vegies, browning the meat, all hanging out in the slow cooker

1. Mix all spice ingredients together and rub over goat. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge, allowing to marinate for 2 hours.
2. Add a little oil to heavy based pot or a large tagine & lightly sauté onions, potatoes, carrots & parsnip - put aside.
3. Lightly brown marinated goat, then remove.
4. Place sautéed veg back in pot or tagine or slow cooker & put meat & rest of ingredients on top (except chickpeas).
5. Pour over stock, cover with lid and cook on low heat in oven or stove top for pot/tagine, or in slow cooker on high for 3 hrs, stirring once or twice and adding drained chick peas in last ½ hr of cooking time.
6. Sprinkle garnish over top and serve to table in tagine if that's what you're using, or in a nice big attractive dish, or plate it up individually with something like the following side dish...

Slow cooked goat leg with wild porcini pearl couscous

Wild Porcini Pearl Couscous

25 g dried wild porcini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups pearl couscous
2 cups warm water
1 tsp olive oil

1. Place the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with the warm water, leaving them to soak for 30 minutes to an hour, or until they have softened and the water has turned into a beautiful mushroomy stock.
(I learnt from this recent post that you may then want to squeeze the excess water from the mushrooms and rinse them in several changes of fresh water to get rid of any grit or sand. When saving the mushroom soaking water for later use, you may also want to strain it through a cloth or paper towel lined sieve to catch any grit in the water.)
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan and heat over medium heat until hot. Add the couscous to the pan and sauté until lightly toasted, around a minute or so.
3. Add the mushrooms and their stock to the pan, stir it all together and bring to the boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
5. Fluff couscous with a fork to separate the pearls, then taste and season if if necessary.
6. Serve with something delicious, such as slow cooked capretto!

Dried mushrooms, and their delicious reincarnation

Now, all these dishes may well be very tasty and interesting, but they were soon forgotten when it was time for dessert. If you have never made your own sticky date pudding, or had failures in the past, YOU MUST MAKE THIS DISH. I can still taste it now (she says, wiping the crumbs off her face from eating leftovers for afternoon tea).

The only downside to making this dish is having the voices of Gary, George and Matt continually talking in your head while you make it, as it's a MasterChef recipe. I was particularly channelling Matt when I was making the caramel for the almond praline. I resisted the urge to fashion a fetching cravat out of paper towel.

Sticky Date Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce
From MasterChef

180g dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1¼ cups (310ml) water
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¾ cup (165g) firmly packed brown sugar
60g butter, softened chopped
2 eggs
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour

Almond praline
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
¼ cup (35g) slivered almonds

Butterscotch sauce
50g butter
1 cup (220g) brown sugar
1 cup (250ml) cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 180˚C (160˚C fan-forced). Lightly grease eight (½ cup capacity) metal dariole moulds.
2. Place dates and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Remove from the heat. Add bicarbonate of soda, stir until dates start to break down, set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
3. Beat butter and sugar in a bowl using a hand beater, gradually add eggs one at a time, beat until light and fluffy.
4. Add date mixture, stir to combine. Carefully fold through sifted flour, divide mixture evenly between the eight moulds, until 2/3 full. (I really was not at all careful in my manner of folding through the sifted flour. In fact, I was pretty rough as it was quite lumpy with flour at first)
5. Place moulds in a baking tray, carefully pour water in tray until it comes up 1/3 of the side of the moulds. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until golden and skewer comes out clean.
6. Meanwhile, for the almond praline, combine sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan over medium heat and cook caramel without stirring, swirling pan, until deep golden. Scatter almonds onto a baking paper-lined oven tray, pour over caramel and cool until set. Break praline into pieces.
7. For the butterscotch sauce, combine butter, sugar, cream and vanilla in small saucepan over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring sauce to the boil, reduce heat and cook for 5-6 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.
8. To serve, invert the hot pudding onto a serving plate, top with butterscotch sauce and shards of praline. (and some ice cream... go on)

I'm off to Bali on Wednesday for a lot of relaxing and eating and drinking and massages and swimming and certainly no sunburning, no no, with my fabulous soon-to-be-married bestie C, so I shall see you all when I return (not sunburnt)!

Oh I can't help myself... just one more gratuitous pudding shot...


Tasty Eats At Home November 23, 2009 at 9:56 PM  

This looks like in spite of your issues with the hairy-stinky-rancid goat, that your dinner pulled off quite nicely! I love goat - yum! And this pudding looks amazing.

mademoiselle délicieuse November 23, 2009 at 9:59 PM  

Wow, this is some meal! Your guests should feel so lucky =D Shame about the goat leg, or lucky that you discovered it early, but I'm sure you'll give it a try again when you can source it.

Hope you have excellent weather and a great time in Bali!

Panamahat November 23, 2009 at 10:19 PM  

Great menu. I'm looking forward to arrival of my own goat portions. Will wait another week then phone goat woman to ask her if she's done them in yet...

And now I won't have to hunt down a recipe!

Vegetable Matter November 23, 2009 at 10:53 PM  

I'll stick to goat CHEESE thank you. But your sticky toffee pudding looks wonderful. I've never had success making that dessert, so my next attempt will be with your recipe. Beautiful pics, too!

Simply Life November 24, 2009 at 1:01 AM  

Oh my, everything is just mouth-watering!!! ALso, I love that you printed the menus - I should do that - what a cute extra tough!

penny aka jeroxie November 24, 2009 at 7:51 AM  

Everything looks great! ENjoy your time in Bali lovely!

Karine November 24, 2009 at 10:57 AM  

That is a great feast! Have a great time in Bali! (Can I go with you?) :)

Iron Chef Shellie November 24, 2009 at 2:26 PM  

Off to Bali? You lucky biatch!

Looks goat-a-licious.... and that pudding...
*sigh*... I can't resist a pudding!!

Trissa November 24, 2009 at 7:27 PM  

Your friends are so lucky! You seem to be inviting people over or cooking family meals all the time! I have never cooked goat before but I really like Anna Gare's recipes.

3 hungry tummies November 24, 2009 at 8:32 PM  

oh love the lamb and couscous dish! thanks for the recipe!

Pam November 24, 2009 at 11:58 PM  

I don't know if I am brave enough to try goat but I would love the sticky date pudding! It looks fantastic.

Agnes November 25, 2009 at 6:25 PM  

Ahh that sticky date pudding looks divine!

Hope you have/had a great time in Bali!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 25, 2009 at 8:08 PM  

LOL I laughed at your opening paragraph! So glad that you got it all made in the end and not only that but with a delicious couscous and dessert too :)

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite November 26, 2009 at 5:51 AM  

Wow - I am soooo impressed with what you turned out. Not so sure about the goat though - I just can't get my head around eating that. That sticky date pudding looks absolutely unbelievable!

Belle@OohLook November 26, 2009 at 7:11 AM  

Haha, glad the non-hairy goat turned out so well! I love the way you prepared the pearl couscous, too. PS: Have a fun time in Bali!

Roseiro.Pedro November 27, 2009 at 4:05 AM  

The menu is great, i love goat, but the pearl couscous looks very nice.
If you feel like come visit my blog, hope you enjoy.

Hannah November 27, 2009 at 8:10 PM  

"...who knows when an opportunity for cut price ostrich sausages will present itself again?" Love it!

The meal and its story are fun & inspiring - and that pudding looks amazingly delicious.

H :)

Cocina Savant November 27, 2009 at 11:13 PM  

Wow. The date pudding looks sinful. Nice presentation and photo as well.

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge November 30, 2009 at 8:46 AM  

what an awesome dinner party. I would have freaked out at the smell and sight of the hairy goat!!

I'm looking forward to many food shots coming from bali. Yippe!!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef November 30, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

Tasty Eats At Home - thank you! Very happy to find a fellow goat lover.. there are lots of goat scaredy cats out there :)

mademoiselle délicieuse - thanks!! Oh I know, thank goodness I discovered it with enough time to get some replacement food, or it would've been a very nice entree and dessert and a pizza, hehe.

Panamahat - ooh I hope your goat arrives soon. Also hope it's non-rancid and non-hairy.

Vegetable Matter - hehe, thanks! Hope you get to try the recipe, it really was good good good!

Simply Life - thank you! Yep, I'm a bit of a dag like that. Trying to make up for my lack of fancy tableware I guess! :)

penny aka jeroxie - thanks! Tried to emulate your eating but didn't quite get to all the dishes. Could happily have eaten nasi campur every meal, hehe.

Karine - thank you! Next time you can come for sure :)

Iron Chef Shellie - yep! :D 'twould be unnatural to resist a pudding.

Trissa - thanks :) I think Anna Gare is great! I wonder how I can wrangle my way into being a taster on Best in Australia...?

3 hungry tummies - you're welcome, and thanks!

Pam - oh go on, I'll hold your hand if you need ;)

Agnes - thank you :) We had such a good time!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - haha, thanks! God what a shamozzle, but it all worked out well in the end :)

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite - aw thanks! You should try goat, it really is delicious and also very healthy! Plus it means less goats running around eating people's laundry ;)

Belle@OohLook - thanks :) Bali was amazing, wish I was still there!

Roseiro.Pedro - thanks very much, and thanks for visiting!

Hannah - thanks so much. Let me know if you come across any ostrich merchants around town :D

Cocina Savant - sinful is my middle name. Thank you!

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge - I admit that I freaked a little. Possibly gagged a little too. Oh Bali, wish I was still there! Eating nasi campur and drinking cocktails. Sigh.

Chef Fresco December 2, 2009 at 9:49 AM  

Wow, I am impressed! You made quite an amazing feast!

Forager December 2, 2009 at 11:59 AM  

Just stumbled on your blog - what a great feast! From the intro I thought perhaps you were going to or did actually attempt to salvage that rancid goat leg...

Conor @ HoldtheBeef December 2, 2009 at 3:35 PM  

Chef Fresco - thanks very much!

Forager - Thanks for visiting! Eek, that nasty leg was beyond salvageable. The only thing it was good for was stinking up our bin compound and scaring small children.

Rilsta @ My Food Trail December 3, 2009 at 11:03 AM  

Great use of the pearl couscous! I love the texture of it too!

I have tried the Masterchef sticky date pudding recipe as well, but didn't go so far as making the almond praline! It really rocks!

Ewww for the first goat, especially since it was supposed to be frozen! Thank goodness for finding a replacement in time though! :)

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About Me

My love of cooking is surpassed only by my love of eating, though I never quite recovered from the beef I was served at college. I'll try almost anything once, but it takes a very special piece of offal or beef to get me to try it again.

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