Out With the Old, In With the Goat

A new year calls for new recipes: slow-roasted goat leg

In keeping with the newness of fledgling 2013, I decided to try my hand cooking a new dish: slow-roasted goat leg. Since writing about Windy Hill Farm last summer, I had yet to brave the process of cooking such a great piece of meat in my own kitchen.

On a lovely Sunday morning in mid-December, I trekked out to one of East Austin’s treasures, HOPE Farmers Market, to visit the Windy Hill stand. I initially intended to serve the goat as a holiday meal, so I chose a leg roast a little over 4 pounds. Ty Wolosin, farm owner, agreed that it would make a lovely family meal and said almost any vegetable I chose to roast with it would be delicious.

In addition to the beautiful cut of goat meat, I also stopped by Best of Austin winner Johnson’s Backyard Garden stand to buy my beets and carrots for pickling- another first for me.

Plans changed and I kept the meat frozen to save for a nice dinner after the holiday chaos subsided. I spent the rest of that afternoon with a friend who patiently taught me the art of pickling. Jarred and soaking in an old-fashioned recipe I found on the interwebs , my beets were ready to hurry up and wait. (Note: I used Bragg's Organic Apple Cider for about half of the required white vinegar.) Slow food takes time, but it is so worth it. I finally popped open the jar of beets a few days ago- after waiting a little less than a month- and promptly consumed an embarrassing amount of pickled pieces of heaven. I highly recommend that recipe.

The possibilities for preparing goat meat are endless. I decided to use a simple recipe and let the natural flavor of the goat leg take center stage. As an extremely busy woman, I began experimenting with crock-pot meals late last year, so I thought the low-and-slow method would be perfect for the big hunk of organic, farm-raised meat. I was right.

The recipe called for a minimum of 7 hours roasting in the oven, but after several pokes and inspections, I decided let my prize continue cooking for about 10 hours. Incidentally, I added my potatoes according to the recipe, but upon realizing the meat needed more time, I scooped them out and saved them to add back in a little while before serving.

The result was pure perfection. The meat was falling off the bone (a dog-friendly treat), so tender and juicy. I loved the garlic cloves poked into the meat, and the selection of fresh herbs and mirepoix enhanced every bite just right. My family- including our dog who had been tortured for many hours by the smell of home cooking- stood with me at the kitchen counter to finally indulge in the slow-roasted goat leg. We had no time to waste plating it, we just grabbed forks and ate…and ate… and ate.

I said it before, and I will say it again: goat meat is a delicious and sustainable alternative to more conventional meat. In an attempt to continue practicing sustainability in an affordable manner, another of my 2013 resolutions is a reduction in meat consumption and addition of several (more) days of vegetarian meals so that we may budget in special dishes such as this. Slow-roasted goat leg, for the win!

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slow-roasted goat meat, Windy Hill Farm, Ty Wolosin, pickled beets, HOPE Farmers Market

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