Sunday, January 24, 2016


Several years ago, when I bought our first goat, she came with a 3 day old buckling, (boy baby goat.) My husband named him Taco, a wry nod to the fact that he was probably going to be eaten.  It is hard to born male on a farm.  Male goats, in particular, are not wanted. Goat milk, goat cheese, goat soap, these things are all very popular right now. Goats must be bred to give birth and produce the milk that we use to make all that chevre and soap. Female baby goats go on to produce more milk, but the males?  They serve little purpose. That is, little purpose in the United States.

But world wide, goat meat is widely consumed.  In fact, outside of the U.S., it is one of the most commonly eaten red meats. So when we brought Luna, my new dairy goat, and Taco, her kid to the farm, I thought we should try some goat meat to see what we thought. At the local farmers market I bought some very small, very expensive goat chops. I brought them  home and carefully cooked them.

In all the years I have been married to my husband, I have cooked many tasty meals, and a few horrible ones. The goat chops?  They were the worst.  Chris, who ate even the bad meals I've cooked with grace and gratitude, couldn't stomach those chops.  We decided we didn't like goat meat, and found a wonderful pet home for little Taco.  I was just as glad. He was adorable.

Last spring Luna birthed twins, a boy and a girl, on April Fools Day. The female went to live on a friends farm, the little male stayed here a while, then went to another friends farm for the summer to keep her ram sheep company and eat brush. Then he came here for a bit. He was very cute and we liked him a lot, but he had horns, and keeping a horned goat with non-horned goats is not a good idea. Goats will butt heads, and a horned goat can seriously injure those that do not have horns.   I tried to sell him, with no luck.  My daughter took matters into her own hands, and took him to be turned into goat meat. I wanted nothing to do with it, I thought he was adorable. 

There has been a box of goat meat in the freezer for a few months now.  Chops, leg roasts, ribs.  We passed them by, reaching for ham steaks and beef roasts and fine roasting chickens.  Until tonight.  Rachel offered to cook supper and thawed some goat shanks.  I helped her find a recipe, and together we braised the shanks in the old, well loved pot given to us by my aunt Barbara for a wedding gift.

We added onions, garlic, wine and other things...

And let everything simmer for an hour or so.  It smelled delicious.

to our surprise and delight, it tasted wonderful, too.
The meat was tender and flavorful.  It is hard to describe, but it is a bit like beef, and a bit like lamb.  Not gamey.  We all liked it very much, and now we are looking forward to leg of goat, goat curry and more.

It may be co-incidence, but Rachel also picked up the goats head she had taken to the taxidermist today.  I wouldn't have done it, probably, but she was determined not to waste any of the animal who lost his life to nourish us.

 Dinner tonight was a bit of an adventure.  Who knows what adventure will come next?

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