Birthday Goat, Birthday Flan

September 6, 2011

I know meaty fare has become quite rare around here lately but I took the liberty of fixing a special something for a special friend celebrating a birthday today, Sept. 6th!

Firstly, goat is an amazing protein to work with. Many don’t brave it because of its characteristic gaminess but, really, I don’t think it’s that gamey at all. Reguardless, to tame out that taste/scent, simply rinse your goat meat in lemon juice and/or use with lemon (or lime) and apple cider vinegar in your marinade ingredients. Marinade should take no less than an hour. Most prefer to marinade goat overnight. Your call.

For this recipe, I marinaded my goat in a puree of the following:

1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp. summer savory
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. fennel powder
generous handful cilantro
generous handful flat leaf parsley

Puree all ingredients in a blender . Set aside.

Your cuts of goat will determine how you marinade. I had a variety of hind, ribs and leg so I marinaded the lot of it in huge ziplock plastic bags. Put goat in the bag(s). Pour marinade in. Seal bag and manhandle the bags to evenly distribute the goods throughout your meat. Place in refrigerator no less than 1 hour, preferably over night. I marinaded for 4 hours.

When it’s time to cook, remove goat from fridge. Let come to room temperature on the counter. This allows the protein to spend its time cooking instead of having to heat up in the pan from a refrigerated state

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat skillet (cast iron is ideal) on stovetop. No need to add fat to the skillet since we’ll be searing with the marinade coating.

When water finger-sprinkled into the skillet rolls away and evaporates quickly, add goat. You know you’re doing great when you hear that SIZZLE! Get all sides of the goat to an attractive golden brown, about 8-10 minutes, all around. Remove meat to a prepared roasting tray, (foil lined works)

Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes for rare (as pictured). 20-25 minutes for medium rare. Longer for anything higher. :p

Remove from oven when done and allow to rest a good 10-15 minutes before carving.

That said, here’s what I paired the goat with!

First, I sauced the plate with a Tomatillo  sauce made from the following:

2 tomatillos, husked, rinsed (must rinse away that sticky residue).
1/2 large white onion
2 serano peppers, halved, deveined/seeded. (Leave veins in if you prefer more heat)
2 garlic cloves, halved

Toss tomatillos, onions, peppers & garlic in good olive oil with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until tomatillos begin to blister.

Remove from oven. Transfer all veggies with any pan juice to a blender. To that, add:

Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp cumin
Handful cilantro
Handful flat leaf parsley

Puree. Test for seasoning. If happy, set aside till ready to plate.

For the orange droplets, that sauce was actually made from red tomatoes! Here’s how:

2 medium sized tomatoes, halved and sliced
1/2 large white onion, sliced
1 tbsp. good olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch cumin
pinch sage
pinch red pepper flakes

Sweat onions and tomatoes. Saute till cooked down and juicy. Remove to blender and puree. Allow to cool a bit. Then, strain through sieve and/or cheesecloth. You will stay with the prettiest, silkiest sauce. Reserve till time to plate.

Next, let’s talk about mushrooms! I served a saute of baby portabellos (baby bellas) and sliced shallots beneath the goat. That was prepared like this:

8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, thick sliced
1 large shallot, halved and sliced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp olive oil

Heat olive oil in skillet. Add shallots and mushrooms together and cover, instantly. Keep heat medium-ish to low and allow nature to do her thing. The veggies will sweat under that lid. After 5 minutes, uncover and check their progress. Agitate a bit but try not to stir everything too much. Just move it around a bit. Recover. Rinse/repeat till mushrooms and shallots are cooked down and surrounded in their own juice. Remove from heat and reserve till time to plate.

As for those white flecks! Those are a mixed dice medley of turnip and chayote squash!.

1/2 Chayote Squash
1 small turnip

Fine dice each. For presentation in this recipe, I mix-matched the fine dice to give plating an abstract art effect.

Steam dice for 30 minutes with fresh tarragon, dried summer savory and finish with a spray of lime to balance the culmination of the recipe with some acidity and tartness. Remove from steam and reserve till time to plate.

Garnish all this with some fresh, lemon sprayed alfalfa sprouts. Plate, serve, enjoy!

For dessert, I made a Prickly Pear infused Flan, topped with toasted coconut & toasted walnuts! I’ll post the recipe for this at a later date.








Fun cooking for a fun friend. 🙂 Thanks so much for being who you are, Debs! Happy Birthday!



  1. yum yum yum
    PS what is a tomatillo (we do not have them in England)?
    lots of love D x

  2. Well, they’re called “green tomato” or “Mexican tomato,” and they’re in the same family but are a different genus — not to be confused with an ACTUAL unripened “green” tomato! They have a distinct bitterness that settles down when cooked. Astounding for sauces, as we have “Salsa Verde” among others! Here is a wiki page for them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomatillo –Hope you can find a place to give them a go!

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