The world over, goat meat is a beloved delicacy. Where poultry is more a staple, everyday meat, a meal with mutton is a celebration, small or large. But bear in mind, cooking goat isn’t everybody’s forte. It is a flavourful, sensitive meat. If treated right, it could give you some truly delicious dishes, and great memories to accompany them.
Here are some quick tips to cooking goat meat right.
- Buy smart: Always buy goat meat from a reliable, trusted source. Hygiene is paramount, and so is the skill of butchery. Buy meat from a source that can ensure both. For an idea, take a look at the process at Tendercuts. The stringent quality checks at each stage, from farm to fork, are all important.
- Slice it right: There are specific techniques to slicing goat meat. For instance, you need to note the direction of the muscle fibres and cut across it, not with it. When you cut along the fibre, it can make the meat too chewy. Cutting across will break down tough proteins. But the more efficient way might be tip 1 – to buy smart, from a source that has expertise with such things.
- The thaw factor: If you’re cooking from frozen meat, do make sure you thaw it gently. The worst way to do this is to use the microwave. You could thaw it slowly in the refrigerator, or place in cold water in a vacuum sealed pack.
- Take it slow: Don’t rush when you cook goat. Since the typical cut of meat is usually larger and denser than poultry, you might end up skipping some vital stage in the cooking process and either undercooking or overcooking the meat. So take it slow and enjoy the journey.
- Let it simmer: Goat is best cooked on a low flame, even if you’re cooking a gravy-based dish. A high flame might speed up the process, but ruin the texture of the meat. The meat needs time to absorb the juices and spices, without overpowering the natural flavours. This is possible only when you simmer the dish.
- Ease up on the salt: Salt absorbs moisture and during cooking, it forces the juices to come to the surface of the meat. If you use too much salt in goat, the flavours might rise to the top layer of the meat, with the centre becoming dry and tough.
- Merry marinades: Goat meat is perfect for marinades, and not just the one or two hour version. A good overnight marinade allows for the flavours and spices to soak into the meat perfectly. There is a wide variety of marinades that you could prepare yourself, or even order from the comfort of your home.
- Allow the meat to rest: Serve hot, but not before letting the cooked meat rest for a bit. Whether it’s a roast or a grill or any other dish, letting it rest for a few minutes before serving allows for the flavours to redistribute more evenly.