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Try it now: why chefs love goat meat

Delicious roasted, smoked, or slow-cooked in a curry, goat meat is becoming a chefs’ favourite here in the UK.

Published 4 Aug 2019, 18:00 BST
Goat meat.
Goat meat.
Photograph by Stockfood

The basics 

It may be a staple food in countries across the globe, but it’s fair to say goat isn’t yet a mainstream meat in the UK. However, there are plenty of reasons why it should be. As well as being lower in fat and cholesterol than beef, pork, lamb and chicken, it’s also a less-wasteful choice, as the meat tends to come from male kids — a bi-product of the dairy industry — which would otherwise have been put down. And when it comes to flavour, goat has that in spades. Kid is tender and delicate, a little like lamb, while goat has a rich flavour and, when cooked low and slow in a curry or stew (pictured), becomes unctuous and falls off the bone. The meat has got high-profile fans, too, including chefs Fergus Henderson and Yotam Ottolenghi.

Where to find it 

Goat can be bought at butcher’s shops and through online suppliers such as Cabrito, which was founded by former River Cottage chef James Whetlor. He’s a driving force behind Goatober — a campaign staged every October that encourages restaurants to create goat-focused menus. Cabrito sells various cuts, such as kid shanks, as well as selection boxes tailored for barbecues or filling up the freezer. Cotswolds-based Just Kidding, meanwhile, rears billy kids from a nearby dairy farm, with five of its cuts achieving ‘gold star’ status at the annual Great Taste Awards. Goat meat is cropping up more often on UK restaurant menus, too. In London, Smoking Goat’s namesake dish is a shoulder of goat smoked over flames with Thai herbs and spices. Also in the capital, Temper offers smoked goat tacos, and Indian restaurant Brigadiers serves goat belly samosas. In Manchester, Mary-Ellen McTague’s The Creameries serves up goat bacon, marrowfat peas and mustard on sourdough.

At home

James Whetlor’s Goat: Cooking and Eating (£20, Quadrille) is a collection of his recipes and those of other chefs, such as Jeremy Lee and Gill Mellor. It’s a great source of inspiration for those new to goat. Online grocer Farmdrop and Jamie Oliver’s website have recipe ideas, too. 

Around the World

Curry goat, Jamaica 
A Caribbean classic typically combining chunks of goat with garlic, ginger, thyme, chilli and spices. Served with rice and peas. 

Goat biryani, India 
A dish of goat meat in spiced rice, cooked under a pastry lid. 

Cabrito al pastor, Mexico 
A Northern Mexican speciality involving spit-roasting a whole goat over flames, so the skin goes crispy, then serving it with salsa. 

Goat massaman, Thailand 
A  slow-cooked curry with a sauce of tamarind, lemongrass, kaffir lime and coconut.

Published in the September 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller Food

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