Monday, July 16, 2012

weekend, food and goat

I cooked wild goat for the first time ever.  A goat that was brought home whole and I'd watched on as a friend sharpened his knives, lit a cigarette and calmly sliced the animal down the middle. The skin came off, the insides came out and the animal was butchered into large pieces. I'd never seen this process before, and while a little shocking and messy in it's way, I didn't find it the gruesome experience I had expected. It was something, that as an eater of meat, I think I should see. As I put away the meat into the freezer, and prepared a goat leg roast, I was appreciative of where that animal came from. That a life had been sacrificed for those meals and I really wouldn't want to waste any part of that. We don't really have the room to raise livestock here, but I feel that this is the next best thing to that.

The roast was a little tough, but still tasty, and in hindsight it may have benefited from some hanging time or longer slow roasting. The leftovers I cut up into tiny pieces and made Hugh's (of River Cottage) mother's Shepherd's pie. The meat came out crispy and tender. Probably the best shepherds pie I've ever tasted, and I doubt anyone could tell that it wasn't in fact an authentic shepherds pie.

Then there was pound cake, pancakes (the recipe on the back of the buttermilk carton, minus the blueberries) and some quick pastas using greens from the garden. It was one of those weekends that revolved around food and one meal almost ran into the next at times. The cold windy weather ensured that most time was spent indoors by the fire.

How was your weekend? Did you enjoy some good food? Have you ever tried goat meat? Have you ever taken part in butchering?


  1. Wow what an experience. I admire you and your ethics towards meat Tania. I myself have never seen an animal being butchered but my father and brother are both butchers. My father once owned an on farm butchering business that did just that and we even raised a few cattle for that reason they then went into my father's butcher shop. It is important to know where our food comes from and like you truly appreciate the life the animal had and then sacrificed for us. Living in the city I am not able to do this quite the same but try and eat organically in the hope that the animals that we eat have had a good life.

    We had a day with family, enjoying simple food together, it was nice and relaxing just being together and watching the little ones play.

    I hope you enjoy your Monday. xx

  2. I have eaten goat once or twice, and, as the daughter of a sheep and cattle farmer, been present at many butchering events in my time. It's reality, and a true art by those who know how to do these things well and respectfully. P.S. Love Hugh's recipes too!

  3. I have never tried goat but my dad used to always buy whole (dead) animals from the farmer or go pig hunting and butcher them at home. He used to hang them from the clothes line and singe them (wild pork) before cutting into the cuts that he wanted. He would even make his own mince, sausages and black pudding and even the offal didn't go to waste. It was a way of life for us and something I saw my whole childhood so it never fazed me out.

  4. Sounds like a gloriously delicious weekend.
    What does goat taste like (I mean, other than goat)?
    I agree, it is important that you take ownership of what gave it's life to provide sustenance to you. It changes your whole perspective on food.

  5. @theoldmilkcan - I would say it's like a mild tasting lamb with a hint of wild flavour. It's quite a lean meat too. Leaner than lamb so could do with a little extra fat during cooking.

  6. What a lovely in-laws each year select a pig and do a similar thing...butcher it and divide the meat...make salami, proscuitto and other wonderful meals. nothings goes to waste and i agree, as a meat eater, its necessary appreciate whats been sacrificed.

  7. your an iron chef tania when it comes to meat. always something interesting going on :) i admire this in you. i have never been witness to animal butchering. i will be honest and say i don't think i ever could. i am happy to buy it ready to go from the butcher :) xo

  8. Ive never had goat before, although my father who was a butcher used to buy it in on occasion for customers...good to know where the food is from, I think that is missing from todays upbringing..meat on a plate is different to the meat you have seen butchered go on your plate....we cooked all weekend as usual here, a new bread recipe, pasta and meatballs, cakes, some lemon cordial and blanching of some broccoli from the garden...have a lovely week at your home...

  9. this looks both delicious and respectful. thanks for sharing the story of the goat, reminds me of how very removed from the process I really am. Have never seen a beast butchered, although I do know how to gut a fish.

  10. I have never tasted goat...i applaud you for taking part in the entire process...i know as meat eaters we really should all do this at some stage...not sure yet if i could though!
    Those pound cakes look so nice....i would love that tin...been looking for one that size everywhere and no luck!
    It was a cold, windy weekend here too with lots of leftovers eaten so not much actual cooking...Mum needed a break after a busy week x

  11. Butchering yes. We raise our own animals and are ever mindful of the ultimate sacrifice they make for our table.So no waste here. BTW I am a Hugh fan too.
    Goat meat I have not tried though.

  12. I just love goat meat. This is one of my favourite goat recipes
    We hunt kangaroo and butcher it ourselves, and also dispatch our own chickens for meat when the time comes. It is an important step in the process of appreciating our food, and something our society has lost touch with.

  13. Hi Tania, whilst never having eaten goat, I have seen and assisted in butchering sheep many times as a child growing up on a farm. Mum always had a freezer full of meat. Being more suburban now, I don't have access to meat like that, and have to go to the butcher. But we do teach our boys to respect where the meat has come from, I tell them how Grand-dad used to kill and butcher our meat.
    Enjoy back to school, don't do too much housework all in the first day!! Cheers from Wollongong, Liz xo

  14. Hi
    My dad kept some sheep and he´d slaughter it himself. but he would not allow me to take part. It was strictly men´s job. However that awareness of killing in consuming lovely meat has always been with me. Had a busy weekend, we are having phenomenal weather here in Iceland. Hot, (15-20°C), sunny and dry.


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