As you may know, we're crazy for goat. We wrote the first-ever culinary tome on these head-butters, all about the meat, milk, and the cheese.
If you've been around us enough, you probably also know that goat is the world's most consumed meat. You may also know it's leaner than chicken, pork, beef, or lamb.
Unfortunately, goat suffers from what we call the "cruise effect." People take a mid-winter break, end up on a ship, get off in port, and have goat stew on some small island Paradise. They're not impressed.
Nor should they be. Caribbean cultures favor strong, musty goat, usually slaughter sometime after a year in the field. Better goat, in fact, is younger--like lamb, between six to nine months. Except it then doesn't taste like lamb. It's a cross between pork and dark meat turkey.
One of the best ways Bruce prepares goat is "bourguignon" style--like the classic beef dish, only with chunks of goaty goodness. Here's a great way to experience the world's favorite meat. You'll need a couple of days, what with the marinating. And it'll serve six to eight, depending on what else you've got going on at the table.
First, put all this in a big bowl: 2 1/2 pounds bone-in goat stew meat, cut into chunks; one 750-ml bottle red wine; 2 medium onions, chopped; 4 carrots, cut into chunks; 2 garlic cloves, chopped; 2 tablespoons minced sage leaves; 1 tablespoon stemmed thyme leaves; 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves; 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice; and 2 bay leaves. Stir it up, then cover and refrigerate for up at least one day or preferably two.
Now you're ready to cook. Cube 6 ounces (170 grams) slab bacon and fry it in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat until brown and crisp, about 6 minutes, turning often. Meanwhile, fish the chunks of goat out of the marinade and blot them dry with paper towels. Very dry. They're going to need help getting browned.
Transfer the bacon cubes to a bowl, then add several hunks of goat to the pot. Brown them on all sides in the bacon fat. All sides. And brown them. Don't cheat. Brown is flavor. Transfer these chunks to a bowl and continue browning more, never crowding the pot.
Once all the goat's browned and out of the pot, use a slotted spoon to fish all the veggies out of the marinade and put these in the Dutch oven. Also add 24 pitted green olives and 12 halved, pitted prunes. Stir over the heat until the onion softens, about 4 minutes.
Pour in 1/4 cup (60 ml) brandy, whisky, or bourbon. The pot may flame. Have the lid handy to slap on top of the pot to smother the flames. Drap the pot off the heat and keep it covered a minute or so until things settle down. Then set it back over the heat and bubble away until the liquor is a thin glaze in the pot.
Pour in all the wine marinade in the big bowl as well as any herbs. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon as the liquid comes to a boil to get up all the browned bits. Then add all the goat pieces, and the bacon chunks. Stir well. You can add a little more broth--maybe 1/2 cup (120 ml)--if you feel the goat isn't submerged enough. But you don't want it too soupy. Some pieces should stick out.
Bring to a full simmer over high heat, then cover and slide the pot into the oven. Bake until the goat is tender when pierced with a fork, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. You know you have to be a little forgiving with a stew--the meat gets tender at its own rate. Open another bottle of wine and settle in if you find the meat needs another thirty minutes. Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper before serving in big bowls over mashed potatoes, cooked noodles, or even polenta.