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Braised goat leg November 15, 2010

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Game.

We have been visiting a lot of markets around Melbourne lately – it is easy to get into a routine, and forget about other areas to visit. And even Nero Wolfe varies his routine – not his daily schedule – but Archie is sent far and wide to get ingredients, particularly during a Relapse. Like Archie, we braved various trials, such as the perils of a river crossing and the horrible weather, and found ourselves at the Preston Market.

After wandering through all the meat and fish stalls, I spied my prize: a full goat carcass! However, the always sensible H pointed out that we didn’t actually have the facilities to cook such a thing, and that maybe I should settle for part of the goat. Therefore I returned home, not with an entire goat, but with a goat leg instead.

I did look at a bunch of recipes for cooking goat, and then decided I was going to do my own thing by braising it slowly with herbs and vegetables – certainly not the most original plan, but one which was sure to increase the chances of it being delicious. I started by toasting some spices in the bottom of the pan – I used mustard seeds, cumin, caraway seeds and some chili. When they were fragrant, I added the goat leg.

I seared it on both sides, then added onion, carrots, garlic and equal parts of water and beef stock. Part of the reason I decided to braise it was the ensure that the meat was kept moist – goat is not an overly fatty meat, and I didn’t want it to dry out. Here’s what it looked like before it went into the oven.

I cooked it for a good 3 hours, to ensure that the meat was appropriately soft and tender, and this was the result.

I was happy to see that there was still quite a lot of liquid left, which I was able to use in another part of the dish. To serve it, I lightly steamed some asparagus, and made some polenta using the broth remaining from the goat. This made the polenta incredibly rich and flavoursome, and it went really well with the goat. I also served some of the vegetables which had been braising with the goat.


The goat was really so tender it was falling apart! It went really nicely with the polenta with the asparagus adding a bit of crunch as they were only lightly cooked. And I am always a big fan of the vegetables cooked with braised meat – if you have never had garlic cooked like this before, please go and consume some at once! When cooked like this, the garlic becomes almost sweet, with any sharpness gone.

While I’ve certainly seen and eaten goat before, I was pleased to note that the Preston Market offered a variety of cuts of goat, rather than just fillets. And as always, H was right in steering me away from the whole goat! I do dream of a day when cooking an entire goat is possible, but in the meantime, I will have to be content with legs.


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